Thursday, 29 January 2015

Metro Washington Special Edition

For today's watch I chose something big and square from one of the more popular mystery brands.

This watch is an analogue quartz watch by the Metro brand. It is called the Washington, and follows one of the naming trends the Metro brand uses which is American cities. This does make it more difficult for a web search as the city of Washington has a metro (subway) which swamps the results. The watch is also quoted as being a special edition, but as you don't see too many of any if the models, I don't know how much it really means. The brand itself is a bit of a mystery, with very little written about it, but the watches are always popular on the Japanese auctions.

The Washington Special Edition is a little more complicated than others from the brand I've blogged. It has a 3 hand dial analogue dial, with 2 smaller dials (at 3 an 9) for the day and date. At the 6 o'clock position, there is also a moon phase dial which is not such a common watch feature. The dial is square and quite large (3x3cm), and sits in a larger rectangular case (3.5x4.5cm) with sloped sides. The back has minimal info, just showing the brand and model names.

I haven't yet confirmed the date of the watch, but my best guess is that the brand was around in the late 90s or 2000s.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Vuillemin Regnier Quartz 9-2228

Yesterday's watch was a sparkly one, and today's is a shiny one instead.

I'm wearing today a smart watch by a designer I've not featured before - Vuillemin Regnier. The Vuillemin Regnier brand is based in France, and is based in the Jura Mountains, a few kilometres from the Swiss border. They started in 1920 and began making 25 prestige mechanical watches, as well as manufacturing high precision movements for other companies such as ETA. The watches are now exported to over 30 countries, and like to be known for their style and reliability.

This model is a 2 hand quartz analogue watch with a very smart dress watch style. It has a brushed steel face which is surrounded by a mirrored silver bezel under the glass which extends to the edge of the watch. The face is nice and simple, having only a jewel at the 12 o'clock position and no other hour markers, and just faint text saying the brand name and 'quartz'.

The back is also relatively untouched with just the brand name, logo, description (water resistant, st. steel back), and what I think is a model number of 9-2228. The strap is connected to the case in a T-bar arrangement, and is a black leather design.

The logo used on the back is different than the current VR logo, with the letters connected horizontally rather than vertically. To me, this suggests that it would be an older model (or possibly a copy, but I'd have thought they'd be able to copy the logo right...)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bulova DayDate with crystal bezel

Today's watch is a shiny looking design with lots of crystal, but it's got me wondering about its authenticity.

The watch is by Bulova, and is a model described as a DayDate (all one word on the dial). Unsurprisingly, this means that it has both a day and a date window on the dial, but the day window actually has the full word rather than the first 1-3 letters. It is a 3 hand dial design with a quartz movement and a stainless steel case. The dial is in a shiny royal blue, and the hour markers are small crystals (or glass). The bezel around the dial is also filled with many small crystals too, making the whole watch catch the light. The strap is also stainless steel, matching the case, and has a hidden clasp.

Bulova are an American watch manufacturer who were founded in 1875 (which is quoted on the back of the watch), but have also manufactured watches in Switzerland. Since 2007, Bulova has been part of the Citizen Watch Co family.

The thing with this watch is that something doesn't feel right about it, but it may just be me. The weight and build quality do not match the normal products from either Citizen or Bulova, although both brands have produced cheaper lines of watches, so that could be the reason. The design is also one which I've seen before, supposedly from different manufacturers - I've seen an almost identical watch with Rolex branding, and the consensus where that was posted was that it was fake. So I think that this is either a low price original which has been copied by others, or someone has been making this design and branding it with all manner of different names.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Deep DT-083

Today is a watch which continues the documentation of my collection of strange mysterious fashion watch brands.

This model is another by the watch brand Deep. The only information I can find is that the watches are made in China, but apart from that, they are a mystery.

This watch follows the normal DT- numbering, and is the DT-083. It does have a major difference in the design of the Deep logo compared to the others I've seen so far. For this logo, the D and P are in capital letters, with the 2 Es being designed so they look like the skeleton of a fish.

As with a lot of fashion watches, this model is designed to look more impressive than it really is. It is a relatively large case watch with a 3 hand dial and 3 smaller dials on the face. There is also a date window at the 3 o'clock position behind a magnifying section of the glass. The small chronograph dials, along with the two buttons which would normally operate the chronograph are however purely for show and do nothing.

I think the Deep brand is relatively modern, but not necessarily available today, leading me to assume the watch is probably from the late 2000s.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Nivea-Kao Choose Your Own Watch

Today's watch is more than one, or more correctly, one which I could make look different for a long time.

The watch is by Nivea-Kao, which only appears to be a cosmetics company and not a watch manufacturer.

The watch is a simple 3 hand dial quartz watch in a small sized case. The unusual part is that this has a choice of cases, straps, and bezel. Overall, there are 7 cases, 19 bezel (of which 7 are marked and the rest are plain), and 7 pairs of straps. This means that there are 6517 different combinations that could be made (if you mixed and matched the straps too).

The face of the watch has the statement neu 8x4 which I don't know what it means (as it doesn't correspond to the number of combinations). It could be that is comes from 84, as that looks to be the right age for the watch, but that is just a guess.

The other strange part is that the watch uses an Eta movement which is Swiss, but the packaging suggests Japanese or Chinese.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Super Lovers - Lovers House Daisies

It amazes me how many different designs of watch have been made for the Harajuku Super Lovers brand, and today is another.

The Super Lovers brand started in 1988 and has inspirations ranging from punk to the London club scene. The watches are grouped into a few different lines, and this one is part of the Lovers House line which tend to be the cuter looking watches.

The watch is a standard shaped 3 hand dial design watch with a plastic case. The face of the watch features the brand's mascots Ken and Merry, the male and female Pandas, sitting meditating in a field of white flowers (like daisies). The strap is also in pink with rows of daisies interspersed with pictures of Ken and Merry.

There is no other information on the watch, with the back being blank. There is no date on the watch either so I'd have to guess this is a 90s design (as the strap has some signs that the strap is beginning to get brittle).

Friday, 23 January 2015

EleeNo EG5 Turning Wheels

My Friday watch is one that takes a little getting used to for reading the time.

As is often the case with the unusual designs, this watch is one of the Japanese watches in the SeaHope family. To be more specific, this watch is part of the EleeNo range who are there to produce watches showing 'handles time'. The EleeNo range was started in 2008 by the SeaHope founder Yasushi Kimura. There is more on the SeaHope family on my SeaHope summary page.

This model is in the EG line which is part of the Cyber family of EleeNo watches. The Cyber watches are the EleeNo digital range, while EG means that it tells the time with segmented LCDs.

This is the EG5 and has the additional name Turning Wheels. It works on the 12-5-9 principle, meaning it has 3 LCD wheels with segments that cover hours (12), 10 minutes (5), and individual minutes (9). The watch actually has 10 segments on the minutes wheel, with the last one just flashing to show the seconds progressing. Pressing the button causes the el-backlight wheels to show a turning animation before displaying the time. Time setting is done through the inset button and needs the tip of a pen (or similar) to press.

The design has a rectangular case in silver with a mirrored inverse LCD with a coloured background, and a black leather strap. It was available in a few different LCD colour and strap combinations. Many sites I've found quote this as being an LED watch with LED segments, but as far as I can see, this is purely an LCD watch with a backlight.

The back just has the text "Turning Wheels, EG5, Graphic Art by EleeNo" and the SeaHope website address.

It seems that this watch came out around 2010, and had an initial price somewhere around the $70-80 range. Outside of Japan, it has been available through the usual sites Tokyoflash and Intelligent Watches.