Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Casio AL-180 Batteryless - 2505 module version

Today's watch is an old model, but it seems a new version.

This watch is the AL-180, and is one of the Casio solar watches. Reading the Casio site, it seems that the AL-180 was one of their milestones, and was their first  Batteryless model released in 1987. The original was released with a 668 module inside, but from reading the Nerd Watch Discussion Board, it seems like a lot of fakes were released around 2003/05. The fakes had a slightly different LCD, but different insides (which did not have the same Casio branded parts and were a lower quality construction).

This model uses a different module, the 2505, and was a later release of the same design and model number as the original. Checking against the genuine original pictures, this has the same internal layout, as well as an identical LCD panel to the original 668 module AL-180s. The manual for the 2505 is available online at the website.

The AL-180 case is rectangular, with the top half reserved for the solar panel (split into a 5x5 grid), and the bottom half housing the LCD display. The LCD is a 2 line layout with 6 digits for time at the top,  and a smaller day and date display below (the fakes have a different bottom line with day, month, and date). It has a 3 button design, and has alarm and stopwatch modes. It says on the display that this is a Batteryless model, but actually there is a type of battery inside which the warning label says should be a GC and not a CR type.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pierre Cardin CS1933

Today's watch is one from another of the famous designer brands.

This model is one of the watches from the Pierre Cardin watch collection. Pierre Cardin is an Italian-born French fashion designer. He is most know for his space age designs and geometric shapes, and is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. His fashion experience started in the 1940s and he worked with Christian Dior before forming his own fashion house in 1950.

This watch is a 3 hand dial design with a model number of CS1933. It is a Swiss made watch with a gold and silver design and a white face with gold hour markers. Inside is a Swiss Ronda metal quartz movement with one jewel (and is the second one of these which has stopped working on me).

This model number doesn't appear in any of the searches I've tried, so I don't know when it is from, but it definitely isn't current (and I'd guess late 90s).

Monday, 28 July 2014

Quicksilver Depth Charge M002BR

Today I'm wearing a surf brand watch, but a different brand than I've used before.

This watch is the Depth Charge by Quicksilver. Quicksilver is a Australian company which was founded in 1969, but is now based in California. It is one of the world's largest surfwear and boardsport equipment manufacturers, which also produces accessories like watches. The Quicksilver logo is a large wave over a mountain and was reportedly inspired by the woodcut The Great Wave off Kanagawa by the Japanese painter Hokusai.

The Depth Charge is a 3 hand dial watch with a model number of M002BR. It has a simple and clean design with a rectangular silver case and black dial and pattern of the dial centre with the hour markers looking like a black shiny sun. The strap is specific for the watch and has a square dot texture with the Quicksilver logo on. On the inside of the strap are all manner of engraved signature/tagging style Quicksilver's. The back tells this has a Japanese movement and is 5atm / 50m water resistant, and also has a large version of the logo.

I found an article about this watch written in late 2006, which was suggesting that this watch was what you should buy for someone wanting to be at the forefront of fashion for 2007.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Module Flashing Rainbow 'Co-Axial Escapement'

Today's watch is a little strange in its description. It has a name which is associated with a mechanical watch, but it's an entirely electronic model.

The watch is another by the watch brand Module which is a Japanese design watch brand made (or distributed) by a company called Poll Position Ltd Co. The Module watches have many different designs, but often have a logo of the Module name, but with a hexagon for the O.

The Poll Position Ltd. Co. is another of these Japanese mystery brands who may be an equipment manufacturer, or may just be anonymous online.

This watch has a rounded square case and a 2 hand dial design. In the centre of the face is an LCD panel which is just used to show patterns of vertical lines in grey, red, blue, and black. There is a button above the crown which I think is for changing the pattern, but it is so subtle, I can't be definite it works that way. Inside, the watch dial is powered by a normal looking movement, but that is hidden under the electronics for the LCD. The battery for the dial is meant to be aligned so that the battery sits under a hole revealed by the LCD battery, but I needed to reverse some of the electronics to make it work right.

The weird part of the description is that on the dial is the text 'Co-Axial Escapement'. This is a method of regulating a mechanical watch, so it is strange to see it mentioned on a quartz module.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Planet Design Rotating Disc White Leather

Today, I'm back to one of my unknown Japanese brands which I'm building up a little collection of.

The watch is by Planet Design, and I still haven't found out who they are made by, or really what era they are from (but you can still find some around now). All I know is that you can still buy some models, they have been found on Tokyoflash, and there is a Japanese company called Emit (or as the translation shows aka Emmett) that sells quite a few designs.

This watch is a rotating disc model, with a 2 disc design. The minutes dial is on the inside and the window on the right side, so the minutes are read first and then the hours. It has a rectangular silver face with the rectangular time window in, and the Planet Design name at the bottom. Along the top and bottom and on the segmented matching strap is a white leather (style?) material. The ds it makes it look very like the Rotalog by Nixon, but I don't know which came first. This exact model with the white leather doesn't seem to be available but is most like the model SA-108 which has a wood finish and costs ¥3,675.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Swatch Muuhh GG187

Today's watch is another of my vintage Swatch watches, and this time, or e of their sillier designs.

The watch is from the 2000 Spring Summer collection, and was designed in 1999. It is called Muuhh, and has a model number of GG187. It has a 'sort-of' 2 hand dial design, with one hand (hours) and one rotating disc (with the equivalent of a minutes hand pointer). It is the minute hand which is the silly one though, as it has a picture of a boy which rotates. There is a clue that there is something strange on the dial as at the 6 o'clock position it says Boy, but at the 12 o'clock it says Cow upside down. If you then turn the watch upside down, you see that the picture of the boy is also a picture of a cows face.

My one has had a replacement strap (before I got it), so it doesn't have the cartoon cow and boy strap that this model should have. There is also a Maxi version of the watch with this design, which is the wall clock size watch.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bulova Neo-classic by Benetton

Today is one of the collaborations I blogged about last April, but this time, maybe with a hint on their release date.

The watch is one of a series of watches which were a collaboration between the watch maker Bulova and the fashion brand United Colors of Benetton.

The Benetton group was founded in 1965 and named after the Benetton family. The United Colors line is well known for their bright colours, and many of the watches follow this theme. The Bulova brand are an American brand making luxury clocks and watches. It was founded in 1912, but has been part of the Citizen Watch Co. since 2007.

It seems like the collaboration with Benetton may have started in the late 80s, and this watch from 1993. The dial states 1965 - 1993 neo-classic by benetton, so seems to be promoting the 28th anniversary of the Benetton brand. I've seen others online, so know that it came in gold with a green face, or this silver version with a silver face and green writing (and green strap). In the centre of the dial is a stylized version of the Benetton logo, and the Bulova name, and the logo is also imprinted into the rim of the watch face.

The watch is a 3 hand dial design, and inside there is a Swiss made Ronda quartz movement with 1 jewel and a metal construction. I don't know of it's bad luck, but this movement has failed on me more than the Japanese movements, as I've recently found a couple that I couldn't get working. The sticker on the back states that the watch was assembled in Hong Kong, so it isn't an entirely Swiss made watch.