Friday, 31 August 2012

Chromachron by Tian Harlan

As it's a Friday, I needed a watch with a relaxed attitude, and the Chromachron fits the bill very well :-)
The Chromachron was invented in 1971 as a Colour-Time clock structure for the 1972 Olympic games. The name comes from Chroma which means colour, and Chronos which means time. It was invented by Tian Harlan who was an architect, engineer and artist. He wanted to make time-telling less rigid, as the smaller the increment we measure time in, the more we worry about wasting those increments. So the Chromachron was born in Switzerland with no hour, minute, or second hand so it can free us from the 'dictatorship of exact time' .
To tell the time, there is a black disc which rotates (1 full rotation in 12 hrs) and has a slice cut out which is one twelfth of the disc. The watch face is also split into 12 different colour slices, one for each hour. This means that to tell the time, you look at how the segment and colours interact - for example, it the segment shows around 2/3 yellow (12), and 1/3 orange (1), then it is about 12:40.
After the original (mechanical) release, over 100 different variants of watch and clock were released in the 80s (including this quartz model).

The colour/ hour combinations are:
Orange =1
Light Pink =2
Red =3
Dark Pink =4
Purple =5
Dark Blue =6
Green =7
Turquoise =8
Purple =9
White =10
Lilac =11
Yellow =12

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 Satoshi Tomiie Limited Edition

It's been a while since I put out a new model of the Citizen Independent 1481010 collection, so here is a new one :-). (For more info on the 1481010 range, see my overview page - link)

This watch is designed like the D380 module watches, with a resin coated metal strap and shaped head. The main difference is that it has an analogue dial rather than a digital display! The watch has a 3-hand dial with no back panel letting you see the metal front of a 6139 movement.

It was released as a special edition for Satoshi Tomiie (as the 1481010 range regularly collaborated with he clubbing world).

Satoshi Tomiie is a Japanese DJ and music producer, who has been at the forefront of house music since the late 80s. His debut single was co-produced with Frankie Knuckles, and has remixed many famous names such as U2, Mariah Carey, and David Bowie. After a short break from producing, he returned this year (2012) with new singles and remixes.

The full model number is 6139-L19290, and the watch was released in 1998.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Casio Dual Time Alarm Chrono A178W

Back to the Casio LCD watches again today. The noticeable thing about this watch is that it has a huge square LCD display, with very large digits for the time, and a second line above for day and date. 

The modes on offer in this watch are alarm, stopwatch, and dual time. To power this, it uses a 2519 module. With a lithium CR2025 battery, it should have 10 years between battery changes!

Around the display, it mentions all of the features; WR (water resistant), dual time, 10 year battery, alarm chrono, and illuminator (which is a green light in the bottom corner) .

This particular silver model is the A178WA-1, and has a S-908N strap. It was released in the late 90s.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Beams Bohla one beam one life

This watch seems to be a very well known type of watch, as I've seen many auctions comparing the watch for sale to a Beams Bohla watch, and it can be seen many places on the net. It's even been spotted in the movie Lost In Translation!

Beams is a Japanese fashion brand/shop chain and was established in 1976. It is one of the brands that was a pioneer of the Japanese fashion industry, but has not had much influence outsize of Japan (although it does have stores in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong).

The Beams Bohla is a popular series for Beams, and was designed by Bohla with to be a high-tech multifunctional piece. This watch, the "one beam one life" model, seems to have been the second version which added more colours to the original range (called vol. 1). Design-wise, the watch features two logos (both I think are for beams); a multicoloured bPr, and a red globe. It also mentions the name Timetron Beams above the display.

The watch can still be bought from Beams for 5,250yen, but the green colour variant is not for sale anymore.

It has a 2-line, standard inverse LCD display showing time, day, and date. Other modes are alarm, stopwatch, and dual time.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Seiko Wired AGCM001

Today's watch is one of the modern watches from the Seiko Wired range. The Wired range is a sub-brand of Seiko which seems to have many futuristic designs, and hi-tech displays.
This watch has a catalogue number of AGCM001, and is one of those with a more fancy than normal LCD displays. A standard segmented LCD has 7-segments to show each character. In order to get the more rounded numbers in this model (and some letters), the display has (at least) 27 segments per character.
The front of the watch is dominated by the inverse LCD screen. The screen is also backlit, such that the part around the characters lights, and you get dark numbers on a light background.
The watch has a W603 module, and has time, date, and chronograph modes (with text before the mode starts to tell you which mode is next).
The watch was made in 2010 and the original sale price was 7,875yen. The full model number is W603-00A0

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Dinosaurs (TV) Baby Sinclair watch by Hope Industries

When I was in my teens, I used to watch a TV puppet series about a dysfunctional family of dinosaurs called the Sinclair family. The series was called Dinosaurs, and included Jim Henson Productions as one of the two production companies, and was released in association with Walt Disney Television.

The series is set in Pangaea in 60,000,003 BC, and was a sitcom around the dinosaurs family lives. Many names in the series are linked with oil companies (Sinclair Oil (who use a dinosaur as a logo), Phillips, Hess, Richfield, and BP) referencing the belief that dinosaurs were one of the origins of oil.

This watch was released in the 1990s by Hope Industries Inc. from New York (but made in China). It features one of the most popular characters from the series, Baby Sinclair (who shared a voice actor with Elmo from Sesame Street), with the LCD display showing in his baby bottle. The copyright for the watch is held by The Walt Disney Company. The watch head is Baby Sinclair lying in its basket, and the strap is textured to be like rock.

The watch only has a simple LCD module, with time, date, and seconds.
I really like the way these old watches promote themselves as having 5 functions, when that only means day, month, hours, minutes, and seconds! It also promotes that this has an adjustable strap (!), and a battery included (!!).

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Twelve 5-9 B Version SV Green

At the festival again today, but wanted something more sci-fi (to go with the Pet Shop Boys stage show).

This watch by Twelve 5-9 fits the bill, and it seems was also featured in the movie Avatar!

The Twelve 5-9 brand is released in the west by Tokyoflash and Intilegent Watches, and is another of the SeaHope watches. The brand is named after the way of telling the time with 12x hour LEDs, 5x 10-minute LEDs, and 9x minute LEDs.

This is the B Version (-all are lettered versions), and is one of the easier to read. When activated, the LEDs flash in a pattern (a second press bypasses this) before showing the time. The hours are in the left circle, with the top bar for minutes, and lower bar for 10-minutes.

The full model name is 1259B SV Green (due to the SilVer and Green colours)

Friday, 24 August 2012

J-Axis Bulldog Alarm Chrono

I'm at a local music festival for a few days, so need something robust like a G-Shock.

Today's watch is indeed like a G-Shock, but is the Bulldog watch by J-Axis. The watch design is dominated by the large yellow plastic bumpers around the front to provide protection, and the metal cover with fake Allen bolts poking through. The front has a lot of writing/labels, and there is a gold symbol on the front which also looks very familiar ( ;-) ), but says Total Product.

The watch has a simple LCD display with time and day, and has alarm and chronograph functions too. The front states 30m water resistant, but I don't think I'd want to test that. There is no model information on the back, just the J-Axis name and "modern time piece stainless steel back" (and a sticker saying made in China.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

GSX Smart No. 11

This time, I'm wearing another of the GSX Smart range of watches, but a relatively normal design one.

The watch is Smart No. 11 from the GSX range, and was released in 2005.
It is a small size (unisex?) 3-hand dial watch, with red hour, blue minute, and yellow wavy second hands. The glass is imprinted with SMART in white, and a GSX symbol in which lines up with a larger white circle on the face at 3 o'clock if you look from the right angle. On the face, the watch #11 is printed, so all align when seen correctly.

The back states the number and year, and also gives information on the designer (Kaori Terashima) and producer (Noritaka Ishida), and tells that the watch is 10 bar water resistant.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cabane de Zucca Happy Eyes

I have an eye inspired watch by Cabane de Zucca today.

The watch is called Happy Eyes, and the face is designed to look like a manga-style eye, with the side of the watch head even having a small piece jutting out to represent an eyelash. The front also has the Cabane de Zucca name, and unusually the full model number, engraved along the edge.

The box is also interesting, as the front has a face mask which can be ripped off and worn, and is fastened closed by the elastic for the mask.
The eyes of the mask are also the design of the watch, with 3 eye holes representing the 3 small dials on the face.

The watch itself is a 3-hand dial with a 5Y85 movement. It also has 3 small dials for day, date, and 24-hr. The dials themselves don't correspond to circles behind them, and are rotated about 1/2 an hour further round.

It was released in 2004, and has a model number of 5Y85-0AD0

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Alba Fusion ViViDiGi W160

Today , my watch is another by Seiko under the Alba sub-company (but was also released in other parts of the world under the Lorus sub-company too).

The watch is under the Fusion range, and is called a Vividigi (which seems to also be the name of a range). It has a two line LCD display, with the bottom line being a standard segmented LCD for the time. The top line is a dot matrix display of 25 by 10 pixels and normally shows the day and date, the month, or the seconds. If you press the REV button, it actually shows the ViViDiGi name scrolling over the display.

The reason for the dot matrix display is the memo function (and the watch also has the words "input 3 memo" above the display). The other modes that the W160 module gives the watch are world time, and multi-alarm. It also has a bright red back-light that shines through the LCD making it look like an inverse display

I think the watch was made in 2009 (as the serial number suggests 1999 or 2009, but it doesn't appear in the 1999 Alba catalogues). It's full model number is W160-4A10.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Banpresto Eiji Tsuburaya 100th Birthday Limited Edition Watch

I've mentioned Eiji Tsuburaya in blog posts before - he was the head of the visual effects department of Toho who worked on the famous Japanese Kaiju (giant monster) films. He also ran Tsuburaya Productions who were part of the team behind Ultraman (who's watches have featured a few times).
This watch was released by Banpresto (now part of Namco Bandai), to celebrate the 100th birthday of Eili Tsuburaya, who was born in 1901. The watch itself is a 3-hand dial quartz watch, with a face that features the face of Ultraman and states it is a 100th birthday commemoration. Although the birthday was in 2001, the watch was actually released in 2002.
The watch box shows old pictures of Godzilla and Ultraman, and also has a drawn profile of Tsuburaya himself.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pop Swatch Yoyo PPK 101 Pocket Mix

No watch on my wrist today - so it has to be a pocket watch instead. Or maybe a Yoyo according to Swatch for that particular release. I don't have many pocket watches, but I thought I should blog them too :-).

The Pop Swatch range started in 1986 and were of an oversized design based on an aviator's watch. The range had wrist watches, desk watch, and pocket watches like this one.

This watch was one of a range called Yoyo's released as part of the 1994 spring / summer collection. It is the PPK 101 meaning it is a Pop Pocket (PP) in a transparent case (K) with 3 hands (1), and is number one of that type/colour (01).

The name of the watch is Pocket Mix, which comes from the design with a different dial style for each hour segment.

The back of the watch has the number 6131 showing it was made in Japan (even though the back says Swiss made). The other number is 439 which says it was made in 1994, and maybe week 39 (or 9th March).

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 Eco-Drive Round (Green)

In the 1481010 range, there were 3 different watch types that were part of the Eco-Drive range too. This is one of the two designs that featured the 7821 module (and the other 1481010 Eco-Drive was digital).
The Eco-Drive range were the main solar powered watches by Citizen, and issued across most of their particular brands.

The Citizen 1481010 range were the Citizen watches released in the late 90s to appeal to young fashionable people.

This watch is a 3-hand dial watch with a round face, and a date marker at the 3-o'clock position.

This design came out in 1999, but this colour variant came out in 2000. Unusually this model didn't appear in the section of the year 2000 catalogue with the others which had come out in 1999, but at the back with several other (new?) 7821 movement Eco-Drive 1481010s.
The full model number is 7821-S78607, the catalogue number is IT21-4476R, and it was originally sold for 9,800yen.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Citizen Trans Continents "Helmet" D299

Today, it's back to the Trans Continents range again. The range is one of the Citizen lines, and usually has some element of travel in the design.

This particular model is one of the LCD watches in the range, and features a two line inverse LCD display. Under normal operation, the time shows on the top line, with day and date along the bottom. The watch has a D299 module with dual time, dual alarm, stopwatch, and countdown timer.

The watch design is a little like a helmet, with the sunken display showing through the "visor". The watch strap is slightly see-through, and needs to be cut to size (so watch out if you have large wrists and buy one used).

The full model number is D299-L18943, and I think it came out in 1999 (but possibly 2009).

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Seiko Alba Neatnik V701 Aluminum H.A.O.C

The Seiko Alba range reached it's 20th anniversary in 1999.
This year, also saw the release of the first models of the Neatnik range. The early models all had small dials in an aluminium case, with the text Aluminum H.A.O.C on the front. The H.A.O.C stands for hard anodic oxidation coatings, and refers to a method of preparing the Aluminum case involving a low temperature acid treatment.
The watch has a 3-hand dial using a V701 module. This module is also used in quite a few different styles of Alba watch with small dials.
The back of the watch also has the letters KMN-MNJ-SGT, but I don't know what they mean.
The full model number is V701-2G40 and this watch was was made in 1998, but not released until 1999. The catalogue number is AMXT003, and cost 12,000yen when released in 1999.