Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Vabene Adesso XS

I'd first thought that this watch was a typical Italian sounding Japanese watch, but it's actually a genuine Italian designer model.

The watch is by an Italian designer brand called Vabene. The Vabene brand is designed/owned by Giorgio Grimoldi who is the son of the Grimoldi Milano jewellery dynasty. Giorgio started his own company straight out of design school and with Vabene has mixed his style with the refinement of the family business. The Vabene name is meant to reflect a typically Italian way of life (but translates to O.K) and, according to Giorgio its basic values are those of design, innovation, creativity, sophistication, style and originality, and above all, fun!

The brand releases a new design every 6 months, and as far as I can tell this model is from 2010. It is called the Adesso XS and is part of the Adesso family of watches which all seem to have this rectangular polycarbonate case. According to their website, "the ice-inspired material follows the curve of the wrist to become a modern sculpture connected by a silicon band. With all components stacked and visible in a see-through case, Adesso embodies a harmony between design, art and fashion."

This model is the XS and is primarily a ladies model, but works for men with small wrists. It has the curved clear case of the Adesso models with a two hand dial. Around the outside of the dial are small jewels for hour markers, with the top and bottom (12 and 6) marked by 2 lines. The strap is a thin black silicon material and has the Vabene name moulded into the back of it.

The back of the watch has the Vabene logo and series name, and shows this is 5 atm water resistant. It also says this is an Italian design, but I've found some sources that say the watch itself was made in China.

The model number is ADSSBKXS and is easy to decipher (ADSS Adesso, BK Black, and XS model name).

Monday, 1 September 2014

Macy's Red LED watch

The LED watch had its heyday in the mid 1970s and so the traditional LED design I think will be forever linked with that era. It was a fleeting technology which gave the original digital display from the time when the electronics became advanced, small, and cheap enough, through to the start of the LCD in the late 70s.

This watch is an original 1970s design with a gold coloured case and red LED display. The display has the traditional LED style with thin lines making up each of the 4 digits, which are made up of many tiny dots of light. This module is a more advanced one than many I've seen as a second press of the button gives the day and date, meaning the LED digit needs to cover the lines for letters as well.
As the LED was a popular fashionable item, many brands and store chains had their own custom versions made, and this is one of those. The back of the watch shows this was made for/by the Macy's brand. Macy's is an American department store chain with over 850 stores across the US (and its territories) and is known for its wide range of products. The company began in New York City in the 1850s and is now one of the most well known American department stores.

The time is shown by pressing the main button at around the 2 o'clock position (or where the 2 would be if this was a dial watch), and a second press gives day and date. There is a seconds button a little below for the time setting which needs something pointy to press.

There isn't much more information on the watch itself. The back states it was made in Hong Kong, is a digital quartz watch, and is both shock and water resistant. Inside, it says the module was made Tele Art Ltd of Hong Kong and has (unsurprisingly) no jewels. Battery wise it takes 2 x LR44 batteries. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mighty Atom LCD watch

Watches made for TV series, characters, or films come in all manner of different styles and qualities.

This is a watch for the character Mighty Atom (or Tetsuwan Atomu) who is better known in the West as Astro Boy. This is the third Astro Boy watch, but is at the other end of the scale from the previous watches which were a Seiko AirPro and an GSX limited edition. The Astro Boy /Mighty Atom story is about a scientist who builds a robot boy as a replacement by a Dr Tenma for his son who was killed in an accident. When he realised the robot could never be human, he was given to a circus but rescued by a Prof Ochanomizu and ended up using his power to help fight crime, injustice, and other threats to humanity. The cartoon was created in a Japanese manga in1952 by Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the God of Manga.

This watch is a simple LCD watch for Mighty Atom with a 4 digit LCD, and the usual time, date, and seconds displays. It is a little temperamental so I couldn't get the display to stay on for the post. Around the LCD window is a hologram style sticker with a picture of Mighty Atom, his name, and the copyright to Tezuka Productions.

To get to the insides, you need to take off to tabs from the top and bottom of the case, and then the glass can be removed and the module lifted out. There is no way in from the back which is solid plastic, and only reveals this was made in China.

I'd guess that this was an 80s watch from the styling of the graphics, but is could a a cheap later model instead.

As an extra bonus - The background that the watch is sat on in the pictures is an original drawing used in some of the frames of the Anime.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Citizen Crystron 7100

Today's watch is an example of the quartz dial version of a watch line I've only blogged an LCD watch from before.

In the early 1970s, Citizen Watch Co. released a line of quartz watches under the Crystron name. I guess that the name came from them containing a quartz Crystal and being elecTronic.

The watches came in a range of designs with several different movements being used in the range. This one is a 3 hand dial design with both a day and a date marker at the 3 o'clock position. It has a white dial with markers and not numbers, and has the Citizen CQ symbol on the bottom of the dial.

Based on the number on the front, it suggests a  model 7100 module, although on the module itself it has 7300C, 280-18, and TW02. From these the 7100 and 7300C fit the Citizen numbering convention, but I can't be sure which (although my guess would be 7300). The serial number would indicate a 1979 date, but it may possibly be 1969. The model number is either 7100-711685 or 4-730771 with the old Citizens having numbers in both styles.

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.