Sunday, 30 September 2012

Seiko Alba Donald Duck LCD Game Watch

After the flashy modern LED watches of the last few days, I've gone retro again.

Today's watch is an LCD watch by the Seiko sub-brand Alba.

The Alba watch line has been an official manufacturer /distributor of Disney watches since the 1970s, and has released many LCD and dial watches. The copyright on the watch is held by Walt Disney ProductToys. This watch was made in 1981, and seems to never have been worn. Unfortunately, I can't wear it either as the strap has become brittle with age.

This design is a Donald Duck watch with a Y755 module. It features Donald flipping pancakes for two of his nephews on the front. The pancake theme also works through the LCD display, as the day markers along the top of the LCD are also pancakes.

It is also a game watch, and it seems that you can have to flip the pancakes and press a button to land them on Donalds nephews plate. Do it right and a small stack of pancakes appears on the bottom of the display, but if you miss you restart. This is my best guess on the action, but I can't work out if there is a score or not.

As well as the game, the watch has date and alarm (shown by a bugle on the LCD panel), and uses a 4 digit LCD display. Light is provided by a small bulb behind Donald.

The full model number is Y755-5000, and the catalogue number is WZ024R. It's original sale price was 7,800 yen.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Leiji Matsumoto 55th Anniversary Leiji Meter watch by SeaHope

Well, I've reached day 4 out of my 4 day LED watch marathon. It's the final day of the electronic music festival, and to mark that, I'm wearing one of my most noticeable (read huge and weird) light up watches.

This watch is by SeaHope (as are the majority of my flashy LED watches), and actually is cheating a little - its not LED - but is lights up and flashes, so I'm counting it ;-). It was also done in collaboration with Zero Goods Universe who make/sell character toys, dolls, and clothing. You can find out more about SeaHope in my overview page.

It is called the Leiji Meter watch, and was released to commemorate the 55 anniversary of the debut of Leiji Matsumoto. It was a limited edition release, with only 999 copies released in each of the two colours.

Leiji Matsumoto is a manga and anime creator, who is best known for Space Battleship Yamoto and Galaxy Express 999. He is also known for designing the tourist water bus which operates in Tokyo (called Himiko), and he supervised creation of a series of videos for Daft Punk's Discovery album. He was born in 1938, and his debut came out in 1953 under his real name Akira Matsumoto.

The watch has two ways of displaying the time - an LED/LCD display (which looks like a electro-luminescent backlight, but I think is more complicated than that), and two small dials at the bottom.

The dials are two separate 1-hand dials, each with their own quartz movement. The left dial covers hours, and the right dial covers the minutes.

The LED /LCD display is more complicated. When you set it going, the lights flash like a set of meters filling and emptying. When you know how it works it's relatively simple. The small circle at the top has a fan shape of 12 lines which shows the hour. Around the outside are green blocks which designate 5 minutes and are where you would expect for a normal dial. Across the middle is a set of 10 red dots which corresponds to minutes (so you have to watch out you don't double count).

The case is made of an Aluminium based "super alloy", which was designed for use in aircraft and rockets to resist oxidisation and corrosion (and also is much more scratch resistant than normal aluminium cases). All of the buttons show a skull and crossbones, and so does the clasp. The back also has a large cracked skull and crossbones, along with Matsumoto signature, and the anniversary. The SeaHope logo is also on the back, and the copyright is held by Leiji Matsumoto and Zero Goods Universe.

It was released in 2009 and originally cost 39,900 yen. Because of the 3 movements, there are 3 batteries, a CR2032 for the LED/LCD display, and an SR626 for each of the dials.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 5351 Special Edition D420

Day 3 of the 4 day LED watch electronic festival marathon!
Today's choice is a special edition within the Citizen Independent 1481010 line of watches. The 1481010 range was aimed at ping fashionable people, had many collaborations with clothing brands. More can be found on this range at my overview page (link).

This one was a special edition for Harajuku (Tokyo) based 5351 Pour Les Hommes. The brand is a male clothing brand which is under the umbrella company of Abahouse and one of the most expensive under that group! Their designs are sexy and fashionable without being overbearing, using sober colours, leather, blacks and greys.

The design of this watch fits their profile. It has a huge padded black leather strap, sewn in segments, and two foam sections between the watch head and your wrist.

The watch itself is a D420 GSD module with LED display. It is similar to the leather strapped versions under the normal 1481010 range, but much much bigger! Apart from that it uses the normal abacus method of time display - each row is a number (you count the number of lights and a red light in the first column is 5). You can set it to a sequential digit display too!

The full model number is D420-L19931, and this edition was released in 1999.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Twelve 5-9 G Version

It's day 2 in my 4-day LED watch marathon to mark a local electronic music festival!

Today's watch is also from the SeaHope brand, but part of their Twelve 5-9 range. SeaHope watches specialise in limited releases of unusual watches, and more information can be found in my SeaHope overview page.

The Twelve 5-9 range are named after the way of telling the time. They use 3 groups of LEDs 12 for hours, 5 for 10-minutes, and 9 for minutes.

This particular model is the G Version. It features a solid metal case with holes drilled down the front for the LEDs to shine through. There are actually 27 holes in the case, but only 26 LEDs (hence the confusion in some other articles) - the 6th hole in the middle section does not light in any of the patterns, and looking down the hole you can see there is no LED.

When the button on the bottom is pressed, the LEDs flash and then stop on the time. This version is silver metal with a metal strap and blue LEDs, but there are versions with black casing, and/or leather strap, and the LEDs can be in a variety of colours.

The G Version was originally released in 2005, and sold for 11,900 yen.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Scope LED watch by SeaHope

Today marks the start of an electronic music festival in my city. I've been going to the festival for many years, and I usually mark the occasion by wearing high-tech strange LED watches. This year is no different, so expect LED watches from now until Saturday!

Today's LED watch is the Scope. It was designed by the Japanese brand SeaHope, and has been retailed in the west by Tokyoflash. For more information on the SeaHope ranges of watches, check out my SeaHope overview page.

The watch is activated by pressing the button on the front, which lights the main screen, and causes the small circle of 4 lights to flash. The main screen then shows crosshairs that move around the screen and then stop at the correct time. To tell the time you look at where the horizontal and vertical lines are - the vertical line corresponds to the hours (marked along the bottom), and the horizontal line shows groups of 5 minutes (shown on the left). Individual minutes are shown by the number of green lights in the small circle in the upper right corner.

Released in 2009, it originally retailed for around $180. It takes 2 different sized batteries to operate, a CR2032, and a CR1220.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Casio G-Shock G'Mix DW-9500RL

The weather forecast for today was horrible and stormy so I needed a waterproof watch, and this G-Shocks 20 bar water resistance was perfect.

This Casio G-Shock is part of the G'Mix range and is part of a collection with Rock and Tribal themes called Tribal Fist. The watches have a Native American pictograph in the backlight, and this one is for a storm cloud. The designs in this collection were made by Dan L Lomahaftewa.

The model number is DW-9500RL-1T, and the watch was released in November 1998 for 19,000 yen.
It has the normal G-Shock functions of timer, stopwatch, and alarm, but has a couple of additional functions too. The 1940 module also has a bpm feature that plays a beep at a set frequency (which can be switched to light), and a beat function. When the beat function is chosen, you press the front G button at the frequency of the beat you want to measure, and the watch tells ou the bpm.

All of this is shown on the 3 section LCD display. The bottom display is a 6 digit display normally showing time. The top display has a 4 digit row, as well as a dot matrix line for text. The last display is a small dial with 60 segments in a circle counting seconds.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Seiko Alba Field Gear V701 Thermo and Lens

Today's watch is definitely designed for the outdoors enthusiasts.

It was released under the Seiko Alba brand, in a line they called Field Gear. Most of the Field Gear watches have a rugged feel to them, but only this model was designed to help in the great outdoors!

The watch itself is a standard 3-hand dial watch based on the Seiko V701 module. It has a strong woven strap, fastened with velcro with size adjustment. What sets it apart from the other watches is the additional functions built into the case.

The first item is the thermometer dial, which I guess uses a bi-metallic strip which coils and uncoils with temperature.

The second item is maybe noticeable in that the watch face looks a little magnified. When you open the lid, the magnifying lens stays on the lid, and could be used for either starting fires, or examining things.

The final item is the signal mirror which is hidden under the lid. If you get lost or stranded on an island, you can use this to reflect the sun to attract passing aircraft or boats, (or just annoy cats if you don't venture too much into the wilderness).

Unusually for a Seiko, there is no model number on the back, but from the catalogue I know it is V701-1Y9-2L9. The catalogue number is APBT093, and it was sold for 11,000 yen.

The watch originally came out in the early /mid 90s (1996 or earlier), but had stopped by 1999.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Ologi Oval LCD watch - with Werewolf Alarm

Today's watch has caused more annoyance and sleep loss than the rest of my collection put together!

As I buy used watches from all different time zones, sometimes an alarm is left on accidently at a weird time. This is hard to find when you have a large number in one place, but I can normally find it by a process of elimination.

Except one time...
In the middle of the night about 5-6 years ago, I was woken by a watch alarm going off. I wasn't quick enough that first night to find it, but narrowed down where it was. The second night, again I wasn't quick enough, but checked all of the watches in that area, and none had alarms on. The night after was silent, so I forgot about it.

A while later, the same thing happened. A few nights of alarms and none with an alarm running, then silence.

The third time this happened, I was closer to the watch when it went off, and located that this watch was the culprit. What I saw was the display flashing with the words "full moon" and a picture of 3 wolves! And it can't be switched off!!!

The watch is by Ologi, which is a sub-brand of fashion and sports watch suppliers GSI that was started in March 2000. The Ologi line was released to offer affordable and innovative fashion watches. The name came from the ending of both technology and horology.

This model has a dot matrix LCD display with quite a high resolution, and normally shows 3 lines (time, date and month, day).

It has a lot of modes: alarm, stopwatch, timer, memo, anniversaries, world time, and decision making (and werewolf warning). The decision making mode is the most unusual as when you press enter (the front button), the display shows a hand rubbing a lamp, followed by an answer (such as "yes", "fat chance", "don't bother", "check it later", or "no clue").

On the back there is a number which may be the model number 59-010

One problem is the date, it only has the option to go between 2000 and 2010, so to have the right day shown, I've had to set it to 2007.

So if you are worried in the middle of the night about werewolves from the last decade, this is a watch for you!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 Round D420 Turquoise

Every autumn, there is an electronic music festival in my town. Today is the pre-party, so I needed a flashy LED for the occasion.
The watch I chose was a D420 module LED watch in the Citizen Independent 1481010 range. I've featured the square leather strap 1481010 that uses the same module, but they also issued a more common rounded version.
The 1481010 range was released in the late 90s and had a large number of interesting designs. More can be found about the range in my overview page (link).
The D420 watches have a matrix of 5x5 small LEDs, which show the time in two ways. The default is an abacus display where the two digits of the hours are the top two rows showing greens for 1 and red for 5, and the bottom two rows for the two minutes digits (orange for one and red for 5). The second mode shows the time in sequential digits with a colon shown between the hours and minutes. After the time is shows, there is a quick animation with the LEDs.
To show the time, you press the large silver button on the front, and if you are still uncertain, the watch sometimes shows an animated arrow pointing at the button.
The model is part of the G.S.D (Graphic Sparkle Display) collection, but does not flicker the same way as the D400 watches. It was released in late 99 or early 00 for 14,000 yen. This particular colour version had disappeared from sale by 2001.
The full model number is D420-S76159, and the catalogue number is IT21-4552H.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Paul Frank TV Watch - I love the robot dance

I'm going out to a couple of concerts tonight, so am wearing a dancing inspired watch.
It was only when I recognised the character Julius the Monkey, that I worked out this watch must be by Paul Frank.
This watch was released in 2008 (for $60), and has the shape of a TV. There is no mention of Paul Frank on the watch, and it just says it is "made for you by your friends at lucid falls industries", and lucid falls holds the copyright from 2004. After a quick Internet search, lucid falls remains a mystery (as I'm assuming it doesn't refer to the Korean musician).
The watch has a 2-hand dial, or a 2-monkey-arm dial if you prefer, so it looks like the monkey is robot dancing. On the face, it has the message "I <3 THE ROBOT DANCE" in LCD style digits.
The watch has a model number on the back of TVTV0607.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

LTJ Bukem Good Looking Records Citizen Independent 1481010 D400 LED

This watch is another of the collaborations between Citizen and LTJ Bukem / Good Looking Records, released as part of the Citizen Independent 1481010 collection.

The 1481010 range was released in the late 90s and was marketed at the young and fashionable. It released quite a few special editions with DJs, musicians, and clothing brands. At least 3 different designs were issued with LTJ Bukem, and this is the D400 G.S.D LED model. More information about the 1481010 range can be found in my overview page (link).

Good Looking Records was founded in the early 90s by Drum & Bass pioneer LTJ Bukem (otherwise known as Danny Williamson). The watch collection with LTJ Bukem had a distinctive black metallic sheen and gold writing, and had the LTJ Bukem and Good Looking Records name on the back.

The collection were released in 1998, and this one has the model number D400-S68784.

Apart from the unique colour, the watch is a standard G.S.D (Graphic Sparkle Display) LED watch. When lit, the LEDs seem to flicker (or sparkle) giving it the name. After the time is shown, the LEDs flash in a pattern depending on the hour. If no pattern flashes, just dots, it means the CR2032 battery needs changing.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Vestal Air Mail Hand Grenade Watch SLA004

Today's watch is definitely a watch you shouldn't wear when going to an airport. As it's shaped like a hand grenade, I'm sure it'd at least raise eyebrows!

The Vestal brand was established in 1997, and is marketed by friends, musicians, artists, and athletes who are immersed in music culture. It also produces musically inspired eye wear, soft goods, and accessories.

This watch is called Air Mail and also Grenade (standard issue), and was released in 2007. The case is shaped like a hand grenade, and when the button on the grenades lever (right side) is pressed, the front pops open to reveal the time. The time is shown on a 3 hand dial with the Vestal logo, watch name, and level of water resistance written on the face. The back also has the logo and name (including a little picture of a grenade).

It has a Japanese movement, and steel case, and has a model number of SLA004.

The case the watch comes in is a large metal covered box, and comes with a heavy bottomed watch stand. Inside the box, there is also a guitar plectrum, which is printed with "Vestal says thank you" :-)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

GSX Smart No.7 S.T.A.R.S

The title of this watch may have caught some interest from fans of the Resident Evil (Biohazard) games or movies.

S.T.A.R.S stands for Special Tactics And Rescue Service, who are an elite division of the Raccoon City Police Department formed in 1996 to fight terrorism and violent crime. In 1998, they started investigating what turned out to be an organisation responsible for the release of a virus which caused zombies to roam the land.

The watch is a limited edition by GSX as part of their Smart range of watches. This one is Smart No.7 and is a model GSX216, and it was produced by Noritaka Ishida, and designed by Kaori Terashima.

It has the S.T.A.R.S logo and name on the face of the watch, and the meaning on the back. It had a limited release of 1998 copies (to mark the year S.T.A.R.S was formed). The stars logo, yellow hour markers, and hands all glow in the dark. It also states that the watch was 'Made in Raccoon City USA', but I think it was more likely made in China or Japan ;-). The box it came in is also special and has the Biohazard and Umbrella Corporation symbols on.

The watch itself is a 3-hand dial quartz watch with date marker at the 3 o'clock position. It has a chronograph function using 3 small dials on the face. The chronograph dials are min (up to 60), seconds (up to 60), and 1/10 sec (with 2 seconds per rotation). It uses a VD57 (maybe V057 as the text is difficult to read), and has a 2 year battery life.

It's original sale price was 12,600 yen.