Friday, 29 August 2014

Body Max by Kansai Yamamoto - large LCD

I've concluded that the Body Max watches are full of strange contradictions. They are designed by a famous fashion designer but they feel quite cheap, and their designer is known for his outrageous designs (such as David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust phase) but the watches are pretty plain and normal.

The full title of the range is Body Max designed by Kansai Yamamoto. The designer Kansai Yamamoto is very famous in Japan, especially known for eyewear, and has designed the train from Tokyo to the main airport. The Body Max range encompasses hats and coats as well as the watches, and all of the watches I've seen so far have a sporty feel.

This model is an LCD model which looks like it could be complicated, but is really very simple. It has a large 4 digit LCD display in the centre of the round face, surrounded by the brand name. The bezel around the display has a cog-like design, and the way the button information is printed, it looks like you should turn the cog to activate the indicated option. In reality, the cog design is just for show and it's the buttons on the side which activate the actions. It has a very simple module which only has time, date, and seconds displays.

As mentioned on my earlier Body Max post, there is mention online that the watches were from the 90s or 2000s, and I think that sounds reasonable.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Storm Obligator

Today's watch is quite a big model from the brand which started my collection, and is a different style from the others I've covered so far.

That of course means it is by Storm of London, and this model is called the Obligator. I've posted quite a few watches from the British fashion brand Storm now, ranging from their beginning in 1989 through to their more modern designs.

The Obligator is a large watch, but is still pretty light and comfortable to wear. Its base is a large slab of titanium (approx 4cm by 5cm) with a curved back and angled front, and this is where the brown padded and shaped leather strap is connected. On the left side are two small round inserts, one of which is a little floating compass, and the other is a little thermometer dial. The watch module is a square block with rounded corners which is mounted on the right side of the base and connected with screws from the back.

It has an ana-digi design with a 3 hand dial and two rectangular LCD panels. The top panel normally shows the time and has a 6 digit display (with the seconds a tiny bit smaller than the others). The bottom panel also has 6 digits and shows the date and day. The different modes are shown on a combination of the two LCD panels and are day counter (to determine the number of days from/to a particular date), alarm, and stopwatch. The modes are switched with the top left button, with the bottom two buttons used in the different modes.

The back of the watch has the model name and shows this is a titanium case with 50m water resistance and contains a Japanese movement. There are also two numbers, one I think is the serial number, and the other is TC.N4.

The date for this watch is a little confused as the module date starts in 1997 which suggests late-90s, however I've found magazine adverts for this model online which are quoted as being from 2005. As the module only suggests the earliest possible date, I'd guess that this is an early to mid 2000s watch. I think it was one of Storm's more expensive models when it came out, and I've seen suggestions of an original retail price of around $350.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Head Porter Plus military watch

It seems that a lot of the Japanese fashion brands at some point regale released a watch as a magazine cover item. Today's watch is another of those.

Like the A Bathing Ape watch I blogged earlier this month, this watch was also issued as a limited release on the front of Smart magazine. Smart magazine is a Japanese fashion magazine which caters for youth fashion and seems to be a monthly release. This watch came out on a 2013 issue (sometime earlier than September) and is not for sale on its own.
The watch is a military style watch by the clothing line Head Porter Plus. Head Porter is a Japanese fashion brand which was established in July 1998. It is manufactured by Yoshida Kaban which is a Tokyo based manufacturing company started in 1935 and recognised for its high quality bags and accessories, and best known for its Porter brand. The Head Porter brand is a private brand designed by Hiroshi Fujusawa, which uses Yoshida Kaban as a manufacturing partner. It only has 3 shops - the flagship store in Harajuku, Tokyo, and shops in Osaka and Kyoto.

The watch is a 3 hand dial design with clear to read white hands and time markers. It has a plain black case and camo green fabric strap helping to give the military style. The dial shows the Head Porter Plus name and has a red + sign below the 12 o'clock marker. The back is completely blank, so there is no other information on the watch.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Charles Vögele gold quartz CV-7331

Today I was at an exhibition with lots of people in suits, so I chose something smart and simple.

This is my second watch by Charles Vögele and is quite a plain watch compared to what I normally wear.

Charles Vögele is an unusual designer as he started as a racing driver in the 1950s. Him and his wife started the clothing company in 1955 with motorcycle clothing, but now produces a range of high and low fashion items. The company is Swiss based and has stores across Europe, and it seems the watch arm is Far East based.

This is the CV-7331 which is a very thin gold coloured quartz watch. It is a 2 hand dial design with a Japanese Morioka Tokei VX50D quartz movement. It has a custom silver and gold metal strap which matches to the case.

I haven't worked out when these watches were from as they don't appear online, so it could be anytime from the 80s through to the 2000s.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Fossil FSL Cyclops FL 8862

I'm back with the Fossil watches again today, and I'm wearing one from their more sporty lines of watches.

The FSL range by Fossil were a set of watches with a more sporty plastic feel than the regular Fossil watches of the time (like the Big Tic). It seems that they came out in the late 90s (as the date for the module begins with 1995), and so fall into the 'late 90s black hole of missing information' (-regular readers will have noticed that there is a severe lack of online information for a lot of different watches released in the late 90s).

This model is the FL 8862, and may have been one of several models with the name Cyclops, which would be appropriate as the display does look like a single large eye. In the 'eye' is a two line inverse LCD display with 6 digits plus the am/pm marker on the main line (which makes up a 7th digit when needed). Above is the day and date, with 10 blocks which fill up with the seconds sitting inbetween. At the very bottom of the LCD is a mode marker with the LCD behind the selected mode turning blank so you can see the black text. For the modes, this has the regular alarm, chronograph, and timer, along with a pace function. Below the LCD is a big black FSL logo which activates the el-backlight (which has quite a loud buzz when on).

The back has the usual FSL black rubber disc with the FSL logo on, and gives the 100m /330ft water resistance info along with the model number. The label that came with the watch also reveals that the watch was cased in China and has a Chinese made strap.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Rubicon Kids SIL-881

Today I was spending time with a couple of children, so wanted a kid friendly watch.

The one I chose is another from the Rubicon watch range, but different than the other Rubicons I've blogged so far.

This is a Rubicon Kids watch, and as it says 'kids' on the back where the name normally is, the name may actually be called kids. It has a model number of SIL-881 on the back, along with the usual catchphrase 'The great trick timepiece'. The Rubicon watches are made by Yazaki Co Ltd. from Japan, and the trademark is pretty recent, but I haven't found out much more.

It is a 2 hand dial watch with the seconds having a rotating disc. The seconds indicator is a little weird and looks like a 4 legged squid wearing a helmet.

The strap is a moulded rubbery plastic one with crocodiles. On the strap, the crocodiles are either dreaming of fishes, or chasing after the fish.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Future Electronvolt MV2034

When I spotted today's watch, it confused me quite a bit. It looked exactly like one of the Independent 1481010 watches, but didn't appear to have that name on. As I thought it might have been a special edition I'd not seen before, I bought it. But on receipt it appears to be an almost identical design (even the strap), but with no actual connection to the 1481010s.

This watch is called Future, and on the back it says it was produced by Time Reverse. The model has a full title if Future Electronvolt Digital Model which I've see  used for this type of analogue watch with a 'digital' style display (rotating disc). The back also has two numbers MV 2034 and SR 626, this first I think is the model number, and the second is the battery type. As usual with these watches, I can't find anything online about it!

The design is just like the 6038 module rotating disc models from the 1481010 range. It has a rounded rectangular case with the same shape glass. There is a shiny circle at the centre, and to the left of that is where you read the 3 rotating dials. The strap is a stainless steel link design, with the first couple of sections at each side having a slight v-shape.

As the design is so similar to the 6038 watch, I would guess that the date will be the same at the late 90s.