[REVIEW] Athaya Vintage Lamafa Av002 Diver Sort of Review June 11 2015, 0 Comments

By: Rod
Photo credit: Rod

Howdy Watchfreeks !
Its that weird Uncle Rod again, you know, the really odd tall guy that uses way too much lighter fluid to start the family cook out grill. All the kids secretly think I am cool because I am just too weird.
Anyhow, I have been working hard as of late, with not much time or goodness for myself to be had. So I bought myself a present. It's a Athaya Vintage "Lamafa" divers watch. I did a search on Watchfreeks, and found that only Athaya's first watch was reviewed, not this second creation. So here is sort of a mini review.

I had a Seiko 6105-8110. I found it in a thrift shop, and bought it for 35 bucks {yep, I was a lucky son of a gun!}.I loved that watch. It felt right on the wrist, it had a big watch feel, and it was less than 48mm wide. I loved the asymetrical case with its huge crown protector. But on the down side, the movements are RARE. Yes, you can get parts from other movements. But the main issue I had with my beloved 8110 is that the main plate was worn where the mainspring barrel sits, and where the great wheel rides.Both areas will wear because they are un jeweled. So it caused timing issues. So I ended up selling my Seiko 6105-8110 for a thousand bucks.

So I wanted to treat myself. I made nice cash ! I started looking into 6105-8110 look alikes and tribute watches. The best I had found was Dagaz/10watches Typhoon, but that was pretty expensive. Probably worth it, but I didn't want to spend it. Then I found Athaya Vintage Lamafa watches.

They were $384.00 on Ebay. With buyer protection, and 14 day money back guarantee. The seller has 100 percent good references. And he has his own website that accepts Paypal.
The down side to buying him compared to 10watches stuff, is he is in Indonesia. They ship with Airmail, and it takes a while, about 4 more days on average than shipping from 10watches web store.
Here is what I got after 2 weeks.

Yep, at first glance the box was fairly small, and pretty beat up. I was scared for my new diver watch !
But I opened it up anyhow. Luckily everything inside was much better than the outer box.

The Lamafa watch comes with its own leather zip up watch case. The leather case looks pretty well hand crafted. Nice quality. Soft leather and a nice brown micro suede. The watch itself was tucked into a pocket made for holding the watch, secured with a snap on lanyard. The watch was wrapped with a very thick type of plastic. The watch was running as soon as I removed it from the case.

The watch case looks like it will hold many big and small tools for watch band replacements or other watch related stuff. There are a few leather rings sewn into the case that look like they were meant for carrying full sized cigars. I was pretty impressed with the softness and the thickness of the case overall. And it has a nice leather smell to it.

And the watch....
Man its beautiful ! It feels like the original Seiko 6105-8110. It has similar heft , size, weight, and over all "instrument" feel that the 8110 did. Obviously Athaya could not reproduce the watch exactly, and they didn't try to. The dial is different, it maybe has a slight suggestion of Seiko origins, but its perfectly its own creation. I will say the watch lacks the original Seiko's finish, in that the Lamafa is slightly more polished and better finished. The original had more rounded softer edges. It felt more used, even when near new. The Lamafa has crisp edges {not sharp edges mind you }, and the brushed steel on the top of the watch is precise, while the polished mirror finish to the case back is lovely.

The dial is advertised as being a sun ray finish black. You have the choice of black dial and accents or blue dial and accents. With date or no date. I chose black with date. The dial looks to me like a black semi gloss finish. Its slightly a flat finish, not a chalk black light sucking black like the Seiko 8110. The indices are chromed lined on the dial, with the date at 4 O'clock.

As you can see the bezel looks similar to the 8110, but again, its not the same. The bezel is unidirectional, with 120 precise clicks. The bezel ring does have a lumed pearl pip at 12 O'clock. The bezel much to my relief, is precisely aligned with the dial indices. Sometimes Seikos have had the issue with mis alignment. It drives me nuts.

The crystal is nice looking. But it is one of the few issues I have with the Lamafa. The crystal lacks the domed thick glass look the 6105-8110 diver has. The 8110 crystal is almost 4 mm tall, and has that cut glass look that real thick divers watches have. But it is a small gripe. Otherwise, the crystal is nice, it is sapphire, with inner colorless AR coating. It sits level with the bezel.

The watch is all stainless steel. And it looks to be a good quality stainless. Since there are only 500 watches made of each type, you can be fairly sure that each watch was fairly well quality checked. As I mentioned earlier, the watch has a nice brushed steel finish top, with a mirror polished underside. Much like the 8110, but the Lamafa lacks the beveled separation lines that divide the mirror polish from the brushed steel .Its one of the things you check when you buy a used Seiko 8110, as many Philippine watch makes love to blur and buff those lines out.

The case back is interesting. It simply states Athaya Vintage,stainless steel, automatic , and 200meters. In the middle of the case back , it has a engraved likeness of a Lamafa fisherman and a whale. I rather hope they don't hunt humpback whales, and I rather doubt they do judging by known size of a humpback whale compared to a single human with a spear. The case back is a notch screw down divers type case back.

The band is very nice. I was skeptical of it when I ordered the watch. Thinking I would have to buy a steel bracelet or Nato band for it. But the resin band is very good. Its thick, but supple. Its not grippy like silicone bands and many rubber bands are. The underside of the band is smooth with waffle like indentations on it, that vent heat and sweat. The band looks a lot like the original tropical divers watch bands you see from the 1970's. And best of all, it fits me! I have a huge wrist, and looks to fit up to about 9.5 inch wrists ! The color of mine is black, and blue colored bands of this type come with the blue dialed version of this watch.

The dial, hands , and pip are lumped with swiss c1 super lumina lume. It seems to glow strongly, and will check this later tonight.

The movement is a NH35a Seiko movement. I got the watch mainly for this movement. I want the watch to last as long if not longer than a 6105 movement. With the NH35a having 24 jewels, it should last that long.

The movement works great , and is keeping time fine. The seconds hand is fairly smooth sweeping, with no stutter or other issues. I can feel the watch winding, which is common for many Seiko watch movements. The 6105-8110 would vibrate and "ring" with the winding of the mainspring. If you weren't familiar with it, it might scare you. The Lamafa has minimal vibrations and sounds of winding thankfully.

The crown on the Lamafa looks just like the original Seiko 6105-8110 crown from the top, but has a AV logo on its head. That, and the crown is screw down, unlike the original that was press in and twist until it locked into place on a stud. The Lamafa has a better, safer, water resistance because of it.

To go on , the movement is hackable {the seconds hand stops when the crown is pulled into set position, allowing accurate time setting}. This movement also hand winds as well as auto winds. And it has a quick set feature for setting the date. This is my 4th watch with this movement. Love them !
So , over all I think this watch is a worthy watch to own.
It LOOKS like a vintage Seiko enough to satisfy that itch. But it has all the aspects of a modern day Seiko, which are built better, and have a better chance of surviving the years. Its about 1/3rd the price of a standard 6105-8110 you get from the Philippines.

It feels good on the wrist. Its hefty with out being too much. People that know watches will do a double take when they catch sight of it. Heres the stats for the watch.

I hope you all enjoyed the read. Just thought I would share a seldom seen watch.
Rod

Watch Specifications :
Watch Code Name : Athaya Vintage AV002 Lamafa Diver Watch
Quantity : Limited 500 pieces only (Serial number 001/500 - 500/500)
Case Material & Finishing : SS 316L, Brushed.
Case Dimension : +/- width 44.30 x Lug to Lug tip 48.00 x Total Thickness including glass 13.50
Lug size : 20mm
Glass : Domed Sapphire with Colorless AR Coating.
Bezel : SS 316L, 120 clicks, Unidirectional.
Crown : SS 316L, Screw down Triple o-ring with AV Logo.
Caseback : SS 316L, Screw down with engraved design and AV Logo.
Movement : Seiko Instrument Automatic NH35A Hacked second.
Strap : Rubber Strap with length 140/80 and brushed diver style buckle.
Water Resistant : 200 meter
Dial : Available in Blue & Black sunburst with AV Lamafa design
Hands : Silver AV Lamafa design
Luminova : Swiss C1 Superluminova on Dial, Hands and Bezel pip.
Packaging : Athaya Vintage Handmade leather travel case.


Watch available in 4 models :

Black insert, Black sunburst dial with Date and Black rubber strap, Lamafa + Whale caseback engraving.
Black insert, Black sunburst dial without Date and Black rubber strap, Lamafa + Whale caseback engraving.
Blue insert, Blue sunburst dial with Date and Blue rubber strap, Lamafa caseback engraving.
Blue insert, Blue sunburst dial without Date and Blue rubber strap, Lamafa caseback engraving.

 

Complete source : Athaya Vintage Lamafa Av002 Diver Sort of review