Thursday, 23 October 2014

Citizen Multi Alarm 40-1013

I thought I'd go back to the vintage watches again today with a 1970s LCD model.

This watch is the Multi Alarm by Citizen. The model was released in 1978 and this particular watch was manufactured in 1977. Most of the models at the time were branded under the Crystron name, but this model doesn't have that marking (just having a small CQ - Citizen Quartz mark below the LCD).

Inside is a 9100 module (calibre) which was one of the last modules from Citizen which used a ceramic printed circuit board (PCB). It was the second module from Citizen watches with an alarm (after the 9021), but the watch was superceded by the Multi Alarm II (quite quickly if what I've read is correct).

It has a chunky stainless steel case with a rectangular LCD panel in the middle. Most of the buttons are arranged on the right side of the watch, with only the mode button in the left. The back is a screw-on design which also has small holes for the alarm sound to escape (-a feature normally only seen on the vintage alarm watches). The strap is also stainless steel, and this example only has the Citizen stamp on the back of the clip, either shunning the common CQ mark, or having had some replacement parts.

The LCD is split into sections by the insert behind the glass. The top shows the time with 5 1/2 digits plus an am/pm marker. The bottom part is coloured green and has several small windows for the different mode indicators. The modes covered are for the two alarms, chime, timer, and stopwatch (which counts whole seconds only).

The model number is 40-1013, and the other identifying number is 4-096614.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Freestyle Shark b-cross

Today it's time for another of my Freestyle watches, and another LCD model.

Working out a model name on the Freestyle watches is always a little challenging. This says Night Vision on the face, but after a bit of research that seems to just mean that the watch has an el-backlight. The strap has the name b-cross (maybe b cross) and bX, so I think this may be the name (or specific line) as it doesn't refer to a feature of the watch. The watch is also one of the Freestyle Shark line which are mainly aimed at surfers (and are the "raddest watches in the universe"), although I think this may be for snowboarders. The reason I think this is a snowboarders watch is that the name b cross and bX can refer to the sport Boardercross (snowboard cross) which is a downhill snowboard race for 4 simultaneous racers which includes various jumps and sharp turns. This use would fit with the very secure fabric strap with two fastening mechanisms (both clip and velcro) which would be suitable for cold weather and rough use. The watch is also white and clear colours, which fits with a snow and ice theme.

The case is similar to the other Freestyle Shark watches I've blogged with the same shape and plastic screw-on bezel around the LCD glass. Both the Freestyle and Shark logos are on the face above and below the LCD. The back has the Freestyle USA logo with the statement that this is a "high performance timing machine" (and that the back is stainless steel and the watch was made in China).

The LCD has two lines of 6 digits, with the first digit on the top line being different to show letters for the day. For modes, it has a stopwatch, alarm, and timer which all use the top line, leaving the bottom line to keep displaying the time.

Freestyle USA have been making watches for around the last 30 years, so it's difficult to age the watches without finding them specifically online (which is almost impossible due to the lack of model name/number). For this watch, I think it is one of their 90s LCD models, but it could be newer. A 90s date may also fit with the first Boardercross event in 1991, or the sports inclusion in the Winter X-Games from 1997.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Deep Rotating Disc 5766 NW

Today's watch is one that either makes a piece fall into place in my watch investigations, or just confuses things further.

The watch is by a Japanese fashion brand called Deep, who I've covered on my blog previously. The produce many different designs and appear to be quite popular in Japan, but their origins are a bit of a mystery (as with many Japanese fashion brands).

The design here is also one which will have been seen before by regular readers. It is a 3 dial rotating disc design with only a thin rectangular face with the strap mounted on the front (making it look thinner than it really is). Inside is a Japanese quartz movement with the discs rotating rather than being a true jump hour.

The back has the Deep brand name, as well as the model number which doesn't follow the normal DT- numbering and is 5766 NW. This is where it gets confusing as the number 5766 is also linked with this same design in the Deadman watch line (as this has a model number of GV5766). This made me think that there are a few possible reasons including: 1) both Deep and Deadman are brands under the same main company (in parallel, or one later than the other), 2) both Deep and Deadman commission watches from the same manufacturer who has this model number for the design, or 3) one brand has copied the other, and ended up copying the number too (with Deadman seeming to be earlier in time). I can't work out which one of those options it may be, so I'll keep investigating!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Timex woven strap watch

I get asked quite often how I manage to decide which watch to wear for the day. There are different things I take into consideration, mainly which have a working battery and haven't been blogged yet, but sometimes it is based on what I've chosen to wear.

Today's choice was just that I'd happened to pick up a brown top this morning and it caught my eye as the first brown watch I saw.

The watch is by Timex and will have been made by one of the companies within the Dutch Timex Group (normally the Timex Group USA). The roots of the company started in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company, and eventually morphed into Timex in 1950 (the x being used to mean eXpertise).

This model is a mystery 3 hand dial design watch with a date window at the 3 o'clock position. The look would fit nicely in their Expedition range, but there is no mention of a range or a model number on the watch. The face is quite plain and easy to read, but the main hour markers are the afternoon numbers (from 13 to 24) with the 1 to 12 in small digits on an inner circle. It has a gold coloured rotating bezel with the compass points on, and this is free rotating smoothly which is a little unusual as most I've found to have a rather mechanism and can only turn one way. The strap is brown leather and has a woven or platted style design with the sections looking like they fasten through a loop in the next section.

The back has the usual information about materials (stainless steel back), water resistance (25m), and place of assembly (Philippines), and also says it uses a Timex LA cell battery.

For the date, this is definitely a guess due to the lack of identifying information on the watch. From the style, my guess would be early 90s, as that would fit with similar looks from the other major manufacturers, but it could be a lot newer.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Omron PQ10 Pendant LCD

As I wasn't going out and about today, I decided I'd cover one of the more unusual styles of timepiece that was released.

This is a pendant watch, and is designed to hang around your neck on a chain. It wasn't the most practical design as an analogue watch, but when they made LCD versions, you also had to make sure you turned it the right way to read the time.

This LCD pendant is by a Japanese company called Omron. There isn't much online about the brand with regards to their watches, but there is an Omron company who produces electronic devices (such as blood pressure monitors) who I'd guess is the right one.

The model is called the PQ10 and is a rectangular LCD pendant which measures about 1cm by 2.5cm. On the face is a small 3 1/2 digit LCD display which only shows the time. The buttons for setting the time are inside holes in the back and need a pin to be able to operate. Inside is a large module which uses an AG3 battery.

The style is quite simple with a silver case with grooves along the length, and a red surround to the LCD.

Both the style and the type of timepiece makes this seem to be an 80s model, but that is just my opinion (as I can't find anything on the watch or online to confirm it).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Boy London BOY-31-W - 5 Star Boy

Today, I'm blogging another of the mystery BOY-31-W watches by the Boy London brand.

Boy London is a fashion brand which was started in the 70s by Stephanie Raynor and is based in Kings Road in London. Many different designs of watches have been released with the name Boy London, but I don't know if they are all truly by the brand.

The BOY-31-W watches are 3 hand dial designs which seem to come in a variety of designs and case styles, and often have slightly different backs too. Previously, I'd said they had a similar case style, but I've now got some that goes against that thought.

The case on this model is similar to the one I posted in August, but the raised Boy London name around the bezel is in the bottom right (not the bottom left). The strap is in a common Boy London style, with the first part (next to the body) being coloured and with the brand name and totem pole style (or Egyptian) eagle pressed into the leather, and the rest being black leather with a Boy buckle.

There are many different face designs on the watches, and this one is a dark blue and light green design. The face has the word boy in fancy lettering along with 5 stars, the Eagle, and a Union Jack. Because of the writing, only some of the hour markers have numbers.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Nixon The Widgi

Today's watch has me back with the American brand Nixon for the 11th time.

This model is called the Widgi and is one of the Nixon LCD watches. The design has a motto (just like the normal Nixon) of "In style and on time". Unusually, this only appears on the box rather than the watch, but that is more due to how the watch is constructed. The Widgi has a round polycarbonate case to house the LCD, and this sits inside a silicone shell. The silicone shell is a one piece unit incorporating protection for the case as well as the straps. The silicone also covers the back of the watch, which is why there is no writing on the watch itself.

For the time, the Widgi has a round LCD display with dot matrix digits. The dots also fit in with the round theme as they are also round rather than the normal square pixel shape. The display has two lines with the time across the centre (in 3 1/2 digits) with the seconds and mode markers below. The watches buttons are hidden by the shell, but there are 4 buttons which cover for the modes (alarm, timer, and chronograph) as well as the el-backlight.

I'm sat on a bus writing this, and have concluded the watch has a low battery as pressing the light has caused my watch to malfunction. As I don't have any repair tools, I hope this can be fixed before I take photos for this post later today.

The Widgi has a model number of AO34 and came in a range of different colours, with this being the all orange model. It isn't a current model, and by the dates of some reviews, it came out in 2010 or a little before for an rrp of $80.