Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Minuteman Jester - Fighting Back One Watch at a Time!

In times like these, we all want to strike back against the radical Islamic terrorists that senselessly bomb innocent civilian targets like the recent Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.  But, most of us are constrained by age, physical fitness, and the rule of law.  Instead, our soldiers fight on our behalf.  Many of them have served overseas in tour after tour.  Some have fought Islamic terrorists for over a decade.  Some have returned with deep physical and emotional scars and some have come back to lie in orderly rows marked by marble stones. 

U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan

However, not everyone on the home front stays out of the fight.  Over the years, one man has has redefined the term armchair warrior.  He is a hacker who goes by the name Jester.  According to this CNN article, the Jester is a former military man who served in Afghanistan and works in cyber-security.  He attacks and takes down the websites that jihadists use to train and communicate.  Why the U.S. military Cyber Command doesn't undertake this work is beyond me.  The Jester has taken down over 180 jihadist websites.



That's why Minuteman Watches commemorates the work of the Jester with a watch bearing his handle.  Minuteman Watches has long been helping America's veterans by donating a hefty share of its projects to important veterans charities like Fisher house.  When customers buy a Minuteman Jester, the company donates $100 to Fisher house.  It's one way that customers can help American soldiers, flip the Jihadists the bird, and commemorate the good work of a cyber crusader against terror.


Each Jester watch has a 42 millimeter diameter black PVD-coated stainless steel case (not counting the crown) and an American-made leather band.  The watches are powered by a venerable ETA movement and are assembled in the United States.  If you are interested in one of these Minuteman watches, check out them out on the Minuteman website.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Adventure Watches: Vostok Timepieces From Russia

Everyone wants a watch that is a little edgy.  Everyone wants a watch that has an element of DANGER!  Well, you can't get much more dangerous than Russia.  I have had this Soviet-era submariners watch for years.  It is a reminder of cold war era games of cat-and-mouse under the sea.


During the Cold War, American and Soviet submariners used to stalk each other quietly under the sea.  The Russians hoped to use their submarines to neutralize America's military advantage in aircraft carriers.  Both countries used increasingly sophisticated attack submarines in a desperate attempt to track the other's "boomers" which carried nuclear ballistic missiles for potential use in a nuclear showdown.

Soviet Akula-class attack submarine

When I strap on my submariner's watch, I feel like I have a little Hunt for Red October occurring right on my wrist.

The Hunt for Red October (Amazon)

Today, Russia is a resurgent super power that is flexing its muscle all over the world.  From "little green men" encroaching on Ukraine to low flying fighter jets buzzing this U.S. Navy destroyer, the Russians are a force to be respected.  Under Vladimir Putin's rule, Russia is even more unpredictable than the old U.S.S.R.  Where stodgy party officials once made decisions for a monolithic state, today's Russia has a leader with wily KGB credentials and a bias for action.


In the real world, this means politicians shouldn't try to have amateur private servers, use "Password1234" to secure their email, use Russian financing for investment deals, or sign up for speaking engagements with Russian propaganda papers.  Under the leadership of watch collector Vladimir Putin, modern Russia is more than a little edgy.  Today's Russia is downright dangerous when crossed.  When you strap on a Russian Vostok Amphibian watch, you can capture just a little bit of that danger for your wrist.

Vostok Amphibia on the wrist

Amazon offers a wide selection of Vostok mechanical watches at attractive prices.  For less than $100, you can get a genuine Russian military watch with 200 meters of water resistance, a well-made mechanical movement, and a history dating back to the cold war.  Vostok watches are just plain cool.  But, act fast, with all the controversy surrounding Russia and western election tampering and conflict in the Middle East, you never know if sanctions will someday be enacted against Russia. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Sad Saga of My Seiko Kinetic Watch

I recently dug deep into my vast warehouse of seldom used watches.  I found a Seiko Kinetic watch that I received a couple of years ago.  When I tried it on at home, I thought that the bracelet was a tad too loose and vowed to take it to a jeweler for adjustment.  Of course, weeks and months rolled by and I never did anything with the Seiko.  In retrospect, I should have.


Seiko Kinetic Men's Watch
When I set the Seiko Kinetic watch aside, I thought it was a mechanical watch just like any other mechanical watch.  But, I was wrong.  It's a rather unusual hybrid watch.  The Seiko Kinetic has a rotor that charges a battery or capacitor as it is wound.  Once wound, the battery is supposed to give months of service.  The accompanying manual gave instructions for shaking the watch from side to side and up and down to provide the initial charge.  Then it advised wearing the watch continuously for 10 hours.  If the charge is low, the Seiko Kinetic watch will advance two seconds at a time.



Unfortunately, my Seiko Kinetic Watch never really got going.  I could shake it and wear it and within a few hours it would be taking two seconds at a time in a strange stutter step and slowly losing time.  As it turns out, the Seiko Kinetic watch battery can go dead after a long period of not being used.  This ehow article Problems with a Seiko Kinetic Watch outlines some of the issues with the watch.


What will happen to my Seiko Kinetic?  I suppose it will sink back into the far recesses of my warehouse.  One day, I might take it to a service center.