Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Kirby's Dream Land 2 Watch

I thought I'd been wearing relatively sensible watches for a while now, so decided that today I'd break the trend and wear something silly.

That watch I chose is a Nintendo watch for one of their more recognisable characters, Kirby. Kirby is a spherical pink character who first appeared in 1992 in a Nintendo game developed by HAL Laboratories. He lives in the world of Pop Star, and has the special skill that he takes on the powers/abilities of the enemies he swallows.

This watch was made to commemorate the release  of the Kirby's Dream Land 2 game, which came out in 1995 (so the watch is 20 years old this year). The watch features pictures of Kirby on the face and strap, along with the 3 helpers that were introduced to the series in this game - Rick the hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine (maybe Kain) the Ocean Sunfish.

The case for the watch is like a standard dial model, but this is an LCD design with a small LCD window at the bottom of the face. The LCD shows 4 digits, and can be changed to date or seconds using the crown (which is actually a button).

At the bottom of the face, below the LCD, is the text showing the design is copyrighted in 1995 by HAL Laboratory Inc and Nintendo. There is also a sticker on the back saying this was made in Japan, and also Bandai 1995, so I guess they made the watch itself.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sector Chronostar Aprilia LCD watch

Today's watch is a chunky one again, with a thought looking design which seems a little reptilian.

The watch is called a Chronostar and is by a brand called Sector. My research has told me that there are many different watches under the Chronostar name, including multiple different LCD models, but hidden on the strap is the name Aprilia. The Sector brand is one of the names owned by the Morellato Group, along with No Limit, Philip Watch, and Bluespirit. The Morellato Group is Europe's largest jewellery and watch group with an all Italian capital. They were originally formed in 1930 by Giulio Morellato, and the company has grown a lot since, bringing the Sector and Chronostar names on board in 2006.

This watch is an LCD design with a dot matrix style LCD display. The LCD display is in a pill shaped window, and set deeply within the thick case of the watch. The case is a one-piece design with a blue textured strap, and raised areas (giving the reptilian feel) which flow into the large buttons mounted on the 4 corners. Mode-wise, the watch has alarm and stopwatch options, and there is also an el-backlight.

The back has the Chronostar logo (a stylized cog design) across most of the back plate, with the information that the back is stainless steel, and the watch is 5 atm water resistant.

I also have the original cardboard tag for the watch which says the rrp was 138,000 but doesn't say what currency. With the watch being Italian, it could have been Lira, but that stopped in 1999, so it is more likely that it is a Far Eastern country that this watch came from.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Jean Paul Gaultier JPG Face 97

In February, I blogged a watch from Jean Paul Gaultier called the JPG In Space, and today's watch in part of the same line.

Gaultier is a very flamboyant and well known fashion designer, who is recognised for his extreme designs (Madonna's cone bra), gender stereotype breaking (men in skirts), and his line of perfumes and aftershaves. Over the years, he has also designed many different watches, especially in the late 90s when he had the JPG (or J.P.G) range which I've been covering a lot on the blog.

This watch is one of the analogue models and is based around the Citizen quartz 1030 module. It has a 3 hand dial design in a deep round silver case. The main difference from the model I blogged in February is the design on the face, but they share the JPG text/logo which is one of the prominent features. The other part of the design here is a man's head where he has a red star in the middle of his forehead (with 19 written in it), and that is next to a large number 97 (which gives away this was a 1997 release and that is confirmed by the serial number).

The back of the watch is dominated by the JPG logo with the other information around the edge (base metal, water resistant, made in Japan). The watch also has a matching leather and fabric strap which also includes the JPG logo imprinted on the leather on the inside.

The full model number is 1030-L16231

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

ODM Mysterious II

Today's watch is another Mysterious watch in my collection. Not in the way, I normally talk about mysterious watches, but this model is part of a range called Mysterious by ODM.

This model is the Mysterious II and is an LCD watch with similarities to the others I've blogged (the Mysterious +, IV, V, and VI). This one has a round inverse LCD display with a mirrored face making it a very shiny watch. The display is simple, only ever showing 3 or 4 numbers in two rows, the top row being much smaller than the bottom one. Around the edge of the display is a thick matt silver bezel, but the mystery for the watch is that there are no buttons.

In order to switch the display between the time and date options, you just need to flick your wrist to turn the watch up and down again. This registers with a sensor (likely some kind of solid state gyroscope) to change the mode. This method is also used for setting the time/date, with an inset button on the back starting the mode and switching between the numbers to change, and the tilting of the watch changing the speed that the numbers change.

There is not much other information available on the watch apart from it is all stainless steel, and 5 atm water resistant, and there are of course the odm logo and name on the back.

The ODM (or odm, or o.d.m)  brand is from Hong Kong, and the name means Original Dynamic Minimal (which definitely fits with this design which is original, requires movement (dynamic), and is definitely minimal). The brand was started in 1999 and has the motto "the art of experiment......".

This particular model seems to be an uncommon one, as I've not been able to find more online with the round display...

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Zippo XPC 07

Today's watch is the 3rd watch on my blog by a company known mainly for its lighters.

This watch is by Zippo, or more correctly made for Zippo as part of their watch line. The real manufacturer of the watch isn't shown, but the back states that the watch (or just brand name) is licensed by Zippo Manufacturing Co. Zippo still sell watches, and the line is described as "Updated, contemporary watches designed with simple, yet innovative features, geared for performance, elegance, and sportsmanship."

This model is called the XPC 07 (based on the numbers on the back) and is an LCD design. The watch has a round display with 3 lines of information covering (top to bottom) day/date, time (4 digits), and seconds. The display is set in a chunky round case with external screws (making it look a little more square shaped) which is 10 atm water resistant. The watch has multiple modes which are alarm, dual time, timer, and stopwatch.

For the previous Zippo watches I've blogged, I'd thought they were late 80s or early 90s, but the date setting in the module for this model doesn't start until 91, so this should be a 90s model.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Hashu GX-Lite S26GH

Today is the 3rd watch I've blogged from the Hashu brand, and the 3rd different style.

The Hashu brand are a bit of a mystery as they have a few watches I've seen for sale, with interesting designs, but the relevant web search hits mainly link back to this blog. With today's watch, I thought I'd have a breakthrough as there is a patent number on the back. Unfortunately, patent 5313141 is actually a patent for the el-backlight titled "Three terminal inverter for electroluminescent lamps", so doesn't give any insights into the brand. So therefore I need to keep looking.

This model is the S26GH and has a name on the front of GX-Lite. It is an LCD model with a pretty standard display - 6 digit time, and day markers across the top. It has a roundish plastic case which is a little reminiscent of a G-Shock shape but simpler and less chunky. The watch does have other modes which are alarm and stopwatch.

I've seen reference to the Hashu watches from the late 90s, and there are some references through to the mid 2000s, so I think that is when this will be from. The watches were pretty low cost, but I don't have an rrp for this model.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Free Way DN97 Watch

The other day I mentioned that Casio had made so many unusual and unknown watch ranges over the years, but the same is true for the other major manufacturers too. Sometimes, like today's watch, it goes even further to be hidden with no mention of the brands name anywhere.

This watch is marketed under a brand called Free Way (or sometimes Freeway). As I was trying to research it (which is difficult as the phrase Free Way occurs a lot online), I found some Japanese sales sites were referring to CBM Free Way. The CBM name refers to a company called Japan CBM Corporation which is actually a corporate division of Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd (owners of Citizen Watch Co., Ltd). So this means that the Free Way brand is a "secret" or "lighthouse" brand from Citizen (the same as Q&Q who are also under Japan CBM Corporation).

The Citizen link also fits with the design, as the display design is very like 1481010 D295 models.

This watch uses a DN97 module and is a two line LCD design, with the lines split by a plastic part behind the glass. The top line covers time (6 digits) while the bottom is for the date and day (along with indicator marks for am/pm and chronograph). The modes are changed with the top left button and are two alarms, stopwatch, timer, and dual time, with a small indicator mark above the display divide pointing to the text of which mode is active. There is also an el-backlight activated with the bottom left button.

The watch is very lightweight, due to it being made from Titanium, and has a matching Titanium strap, with the watch being 10atm water resistant.

The full model number is DN97-K293, and it was made in 1998 or 2008. As the design is similar to the 1481010 which is from the late 90s, I guess that the 98 date is more likely.