Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials
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  1. #1
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    I was recently shown the new Seiko Superior line with the 4R37 movement, and I was really excited at the prospect of essentially having a Seiko5 GMT. It looks awesome, right?
    Attachment 1022882
    Oh, but wait. That's not a GMT hand. It's just a 24 hour dial, slaved to the hour hand. All it really tells you is whether the time shown is AM or PM. Here's the same "feature" on my MTG-1000:
    Attachment 1022883
    This one has a little bit of value because when I'm setting the alarm or have it in world time mode, I'm actually interested in whether the time it's displaying which is not right now is AM or PM.

    Citizen has the 24 hour hand down to a science, and seem to put it on nearly everything. Citizen may be the quartz masters, and could have an awesome traveling watch right here:
    Attachment 1022902
    Imagine how useful it could be, with the UTC face showing the time at home, and the stupid little 24 hour face showing the time at your next destination. In other modes, the 24 hour face could do the 24 hour thing. If I'm not mistaken in these models you can't even change the UTC face to show anything other than Greenwich Mean Time unless you want to lie to the watch about what time zone you're in and accept that for a portion of the day your date is going to be wrong. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    So anyway, back to Seiko, who truly have no excuse: WHY IS THAT SUBDIAL THERE? Is it at all conceivable that someone will ever look at that watch and say, "It's 4:43 on the 31st, but is it nearly five in the morning or nearly five in the afternoon? I've been abducted by aliens and I DON'T KNOW!!!!" I'll answer my own question. No, it isn't. This is not a watch for spelunkers or Alaskans/Siberians, so the subdial is purely decorative. Since the dial doesn't impart any useful information why not just put a slowly-rotating magic 8 ball at 12 o'clock? Or the world's slowest pinwheel? I don't understand this stupid watch and I like nearly everything about it, but that @#$%ing subdial sits there on an otherwise very attractive machine mocking me with the watch it could have been.

    In conclusion, here's another Seiko with the 4R37 movement. It has that braindead subdial AND what you might think is a GMT hand, but alas, it's painted on. Why? Because go to hell, that's why. Why would Seiko essentially make a dual-bezeled, GMT Monster? They'd only sell it to @0%%^&* everybody, and what would be the point of that?

    Attachment 1022918
    Last edited by Lord Monocle; March 26th, 2013 at 03:52.
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  2. #2
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    That watch with a painted on hand is beyond crazy. It's so tacky it is beneath Seiko. The am/pm subdial is a bit deceptive, but it is in fact functional. A painted on false GMT hand? That's just silly.
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  3. #3
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by mpalmer View Post
    That watch with a painted on hand is beyond crazy. It's so tacky it is beneath Seiko. The am/pm subdial is a bit deceptive, but it is in fact functional. A painted on false GMT hand? That's just silly.
    I agree. Maybe it's not supposed to be a painted-on GMT hand, but it IS a painted-on GMT hand.

    My brother-in-law was recently given a watch as a gift from his father and showed it to me and it was one of those awful fake chronograph fashion watches with the chrono dials and hands etched on and no pushers, fake or otherwise. It said Seiko on the dial and I took one look and said, "It's fake. Seiko wouldn't make something like this." (I'm a jerk like that.)

    Now, though, maybe I wouldn't give voice to that second part so quickly.
    Guys, I really really really do understand that there was a hack and that my password was reset, but I'm about to take a year off from WUS if you can't stop telling me about it every time I log in. With my password. That you reset.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by mpalmer View Post
    That watch with a painted on hand is beyond crazy. It's so tacky it is beneath Seiko. The am/pm subdial is a bit deceptive, but it is in fact functional. A painted on false GMT hand? That's just silly.
    Look closer. It's the pointer of a compass.
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  6. #5
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Rick View Post
    Look closer. It's the pointer of a compass.
    Compass needles and watch hands are both moving parts. Either way they painted something on and it's ridiculous.
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  7. #6
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Compass needles and watch hands are both moving parts. Either way they painted something on and it's ridiculous.
    The bezel compass is completely pointless as well, since you can use any watch with an hour hand as a compass. You have no problem with a bezel that's pointlessly made to look like a compass, but you do with a dial that's pointlessly made to look like a compass pointer?

    I agree that 24-hour dials are a somewhat silly complication, since they're really only useful when you're setting the watch. But, decorative, useless things are pretty standard with watches -- I don't see why that subdial (or an arrow on the dial evoking a compass motif) is more terrible than anything else.
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  8. #7
    PJR
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    I agree on the 24 hour subdials. This Citizen would be the perfect travel watch IF the 24 hour subdial could be set to another time zone.

    Knowing home time would be helpful. I'm fairly sure I can figure out AM/PM on my own by, uh, looking outside.

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  9. #8
    Member mike120's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Monocle View Post
    Compass needles and watch hands are both moving parts. Either way they painted something on and it's ridiculous.
    I believe that it is painted on looking so similar to the hour hand so that you can use the hour hand and the painted on bit to set the compass bezel to the correct places.... Just a guess though.

    How to Use an Analog Watch as a Compass: 10 steps (with pictures)
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  10. #9
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by Likestheshiny View Post
    The bezel compass is completely pointless as well, since you can use any watch with an hour hand as a compass. You have no problem with a bezel that's pointlessly made to look like a compass, but you do with a dial that's pointlessly made to look like a compass pointer?

    I agree that 24-hour dials are a somewhat silly complication, since they're really only useful when you're setting the watch. But, decorative, useless things are pretty standard with watches -- I don't see why that subdial (or an arrow on the dial evoking a compass motif) is more terrible than anything else.
    There is a time and a place to be reasonable, and that place is elsewhere. I am here to rant about Seiko's STUPID FACE today.

    Compass bezels ARE pretty useless, and I'd never buy a watch that only had one, but since it's an AND and not an OR, it's okay to me. I'd rather see an internal 12-hour bezel (or 24 hour bezel on a watch with a GMT hand) with an external elapsed time bezel, but hey, even a compass bezel is of more use than an orange triangle.
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    Guys, I really really really do understand that there was a hack and that my password was reset, but I'm about to take a year off from WUS if you can't stop telling me about it every time I log in. With my password. That you reset.

  11. #10
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    Re: Dear Japanese Watchmakers, Please Stop With the 24 Hour Subdials

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Monocle View Post
    I was recently shown the new Seiko Superior line with the 4R37 movement, and I was really excited at the prospect of essentially having a Seiko5 GMT. It looks awesome, right?
    Attachment 1022882
    Oh, but wait. That's not a GMT hand. It's just a 24 hour dial, slaved to the hour hand. All it really tells you is whether the time shown is AM or PM. Here's the same "feature" on my MTG-1000:
    Attachment 1022883
    This one has a little bit of value because when I'm setting the alarm or have it in world time mode, I'm actually interested in whether the time it's displaying which is not right now is AM or PM.


    So anyway, back to Seiko, who truly have no excuse: WHY IS THAT SUBDIAL THERE? Is it at all conceivable that someone will ever look at that watch and say, "It's 4:43 on the 31st, but is it nearly five in the morning or nearly five in the afternoon? I've been abducted by aliens and I DON'T KNOW!!!!" I'll answer my own question. No, it isn't. This is not a watch for spelunkers or Alaskans/Siberians, so the subdial is purely decorative. Since the dial doesn't impart any useful information why not just put a slowly-rotating magic 8 ball at 12 o'clock? Or the world's slowest pinwheel? I don't understand this stupid watch and I like nearly everything about it, but that @#$%ing subdial sits there on an otherwise very attractive machine mocking me with the watch it could have been.

    In conclusion, here's another Seiko with the 4R37 movement. It has that braindead subdial AND what you might think is a GMT hand, but alas, it's painted on. Why? Because go to hell, that's why. Why would Seiko essentially make a dual-bezeled, GMT Monster? They'd only sell it to @0%%^&* everybody, and what would be the point of that?

    Attachment 1022918
    I disagree with you completely. These two Seiko watches are intended for navigation or pole exploration - that is beyond the polar circle. Such explorations occur mostly during the polar summer when the sun does not set - the 24 dial becomes absolutely necessary as there is no night to separate the days.

    The role of the orange pointer at 12 is that of a reference point - this should be aligned toward the sun. The other reference is the orange hour hand. Based on these two references you rotate the internal bezel via the crown at 2 to find the North Pole in between. Why use this instead of a compass? Well, the compass will fail you at the pole as it will show you the magnetic pole instead. Why using a watch rather than GPS to know your location? Perhaps for backup as the GPS can run out of batteries.

    Returning from North Pole dream exploration to my desk now, in fact I am quite a fan of 24h sub-dials or at least an am/pm indicator even for a daily office watch. I rotate watches quite often and without the 24h subdial is very annoying to discover at noon that the date changes because the watch was set to the pm time instead of am. Together with the Power Reserve, the 24h subdial is not a must but is definitely a nice to have.
    Last edited by Orex; March 26th, 2013 at 05:34.
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