Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Casio G-Shock DW-620

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged one of the smaller G-Shock watches in the DW-6xx range. I have 3 different versions and had planned to blog them in numerical order, but picked up the wrong one this morning. So here is the DW-620.
The DW-620 was released in December 1994, and was one of only a few (and the last) small G-Shocks that were released before the Baby-G range was started. One site I've seen also suggested that this version was also nicknamed London
The watch has a 1419 module with an LCD display. The main display has two lines with the date in 4 digits along the top, and a 6 digit time display (with a squashed first digit in 24-hr mode). There is also a small 5x5 dot matrix LCD panel above the time which normally shows a large G that rotates (for 2 sec) every 10 seconds. This display also shows sequential letters of the mode that the watch is in when not in time mode (AL, TR, ST), and when the el-backlight is activated, it displays a dancing stick-man who sits down at the end.
Apart from the time, the watch has alarm, timer, and stopwatch.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Timex Reef Gear i-control

Today's watch attracted me more because of the input controls than the looks (as it looks a little more plain than my usual tastes).

The watch is by Timex and is part of their Reef Gear range of watches.

It has what is called the i-control system (nothing to do with Apple ;-)) where the modes are set by a rotating bezel rather than buttons. I guess that this is to allow easy operation with gloves (while diving). There is also an easy-to-handle button on the front of the watch for start and stop options. The modes available are date, alarm, timer, and chronograph.

Time is set using the crown which needs to be pulled out for setting time or alarm. The time setting mode is the middle option, which would make it difficult to accidently select.

The LCD display is a two line display with a large digit 6 number display for time, and a smaller 6 digit day and date display above. The LCD is also a highly reflective Indiglo display with it lighting up a green holographic colour when viewed from a certain angle. There is also an Indiglo night light (el-backlight) when the crown is depressed.

This particular colour version has a model number of H2Y272 (-the last digits seem to change for different colour options).

I haven't determined the exact release time for the watch, but I guess it is from the 2000s, and does not appear on the main Timex website anymore.

Monday, 29 October 2012

XLarge Break Beats Independent 1481010

As you may have noticed, I have a lot of watches which are variations on the D380 module, and this is another of them.

The D380 was used mainly (maybe exclusively) in the Citizen Independent 1481010 line of watches, and there were many special editions based on this design. The 1481010 range was released in the late 90s as a line of fashion watches, and more details about the range can be found in my overview page (link).

This particular version is a collaboration from 1998 between Citizen and the XLarge (or X-Large) clothing brand.

XLarge was founded in 1991 in Los Angeles and produced clothing in the Urban and Hip hop style (with one of the Beastie Boys being an original partner in the company). They were the first brand to use a gorilla/ape design as their logo, ahead of the (more famous?) Bathing Ape / Bape line. This gorilla head logo is placed on the front button of the watch where the radioactive symbol is usually printed. The watch model is called Break Beats, and is in a green camouflage design, with the camo outline also engraved on the strap curved metal one-piece strap along with text explaining the colour for that section.

It was released as a limited edition, but I don't know how many were produced.
From the watch point of view, it is the same as the other D380 models, with a curved text inverse dot matrix LCD display. It has dual alarms and a chronograph function, and the alarm tune was composed by Japanese DJ Ken Ishii.
The full model number is D380-L19397

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Seiko Alba AKA Chronograph V657 Red

This watch is one of the Seiko Alba AKA watches which came out in the mid 90s. They were released by Seiko as their brand aimed at the young and fashionable (and were the brand that the Citizen Independent 1481010 watches were released to compete with).

This one is one of their line of chronograph watches that were released in 1996 (or earlier - this one was made in 1995), with a catalogue number of AMAS005. It's original sale price was 15,000 yen making it the most expensive of the AKA line at that time. It was still for sale in late 1999.

The watch has a V657 movement with a 3-hand dial and date at the 3 o'clock position. The chronograph is worked by the two buttons on the side and shows on three dials; minutes (up to 60), seconds (up to 60), and tenths of a second (up to 2 seconds).

The full model number is V657-6030.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Seiko Alba Spoon Teardrop W850 x Yoshitaka Amano

Today's watch is one that unfortunately I can't wear - it suffers from brittleness of the strap which is common problem for watches around that time.

This watch is by the Seiko Alba brand as part of the Spoon range. In the late 90s, they came out with a teardrop shaped variation using a similar module to the earlier Timetron-H. The teardrop shaped watches have an unusual strap with the expanding section to open it being at the top, directly connected to the watch head.

There were a few special versions of the watch released, including this one from the year 2000. This version was produced with Art Vivant Co Ltd, and to quote the box "embodies the original illustration by Yoshitaka Amano" . It was a limited edition release with only 300 of the watches being made.

Yoshitaka Amano is an artist, character designer, and film scenery and costume designer. He was first notice in the late 60s after working on the anime version of Speed Racer. He is well known to anime and game fans, designing characters for Gatchaman (aka G-Force or Battle of the Planets), Vampire Hunter D, and Casshan, along with providing illustrations for Final Fantasy. One of his illustrations is printed on the watch head just above the display, and shows what looks like a face and a curved wing.

The watch uses a W850 module, which has a large dot matrix LCD display. It has alarm, world time, chronograph, and timer, with all modes accessible directly from a mode menu. The main display has the equivalent of 4 lines with a choice of display styles. The top row shows the mode (time) and the bottom shows day, and the middle two lines can either show date and time, or a double height time.

The full model number is W850-4090, and the watch doesn't have any serial number (just the limited edition number).

Friday, 26 October 2012

JC/DC Time Track x odm black

Today I'm wearing a huge watch. But surprisingly it is incredibly light!
This watch was made as part of an ongoing collaboration between watch manufacturer odm (or O.D.M), and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
French pop fashion designer and nobleman Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Marquis de Castelbajac) was born in Morocco in 1949, and established the JC/DC brand in May 1968. Known for imaginative designs for clothing and home furnishings, he has designed outfits for various artists (Madonna, M.I.A) and celebrities (including the Pope), and designed for the latest Lady Gaga video. He has previously designed a Lego inspired LCD watch called Pop Hours, also in conjunction with ODM.
Odm stands for Original Dynamic and Minimal, and are a Hong Kong based brand making a range of interesting designed watches with "the art of experiment...".
This model is called Time Track, and is inspired by military design. The face and hands are designed to resemble an army compass, and the strap resembles the tracks of a tank. There are also bumpers / grips around the side like an ammo box.  It looks like it is a large heavy steel item, but is made from plastic making it feel very light on your wrist.
The watch has a Japanese quartz movement, and is a 3-hand dial, with two separately moving digits for the date.
The model number is TT01-01, and the watch was released in March 2011 for $179

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Citizen Trans Continents Octagonal Dial

Today's watch is one of my more elegant watches. To me it has a very retro (1950s) feel with the large white numbers on the black face (and maybe the font helps with that feel too).

The watch is part of the Citizen Trans Continents range which has been produced since the late 90s and has produced watches with a travel and/or retro sci-fi feel. One of the recurring elements in the design has been a 1950s style space rocket, and this can be seen on the back end of the seconds hand.

It has a quartz powered 6329 movement with a 3-hand dial in an octagonal case. The face also has a day, date, and 24-hour dial. The mini dials are unusually placed at the 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 positions, and the crown is also at the 1:30 position.

The strap on this watch is black leather, with a blue suede back, and there is a leather and suede patch behind the watch cade so that no metal touches your skin.

The full model number is 6329-S036011, and the watch was made in 2006.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Nike Triax Swift Wr0090

I'd always seen the Nike watches as one of the more interesting of the normal watches I'd seen in the shops. I think it was the off-centre strap design, the 30 degree rotation of the face, and the lack of symmetry that I found quite eyecatching.

The Triax watches were one of the ranges of watches released by the Nike sportswear company. Nike ventured into the watch business for a period, but seems to have stopped (as I can't find any on the Nike website).

This model is the Wr0090-022, and has a large digit LCD display with two lines, normally showing time, date and day. As this is a sports watch, it has timer and chronograph modes, as well dual alarms and a data mode (for recalling stopwatch data). It also has high water tolerance as it is 100m water resistant, and there is an el-backlight activated by the front button.

The back of the watch shows the model number, material (plastic and stainless steel), manufacturing location (China), and the patents that cover the watch (D394391, D394392, and D394394).

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nooka Zub ZenV wide strap white

It's been a while since the last Nooka, so here's another one.
The Nooka brand was started by Matthew Waldman in 2004 to manufacture his unique style of watches. His first design had been released by Seiko (found here), but after issues with its marketing and distribution, he bought the concept back and Nooka was born.

The Nooka watches come in various shapes and sizes;
This watch has a ZenV face where the time is shown by 3 vertical bars, 2 for hours (6 blocks in each), and one for minutes (with individual blocks for each minute). There are also markers for am and pm, and alarm, as well as a small window for the seconds.
The strap is the Zub design which is a one piece polyurethane band, and this is the wider 38mm strap version.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 Ana-digi C351 - Chipie blue version

I still haven't covered all of the different models in the Citizen Independent 1481010 collection, and today is another new one. The Citizen Independent 1481010 line was released in the late 90s as a set of high fashion watches for young people. More about this range can be found on my overview page (link).

This watch is the same design as my first Citizen Independent 1481010 watch, and is one of the more striking designs in the collection.

It is an Ana-Digi watch with both LCD and electronic dial time display. The LCD display has two lines that appear to slope backwards (the digits are narrower at the top and slant towards an imaginary point). In this model, the LCD is an inverse blue LCD panel. The dial is electronically controlled and can be set differently than the LCD display. There is also a small LCD display with 10 blocks that fill and empty with the seconds. The module is a C351 which was also used in another different design in the 1481010 range. It gives the watch 2 alarms, a chronograph, and a timer function. The watch also has a curved one piece metal strap giving the watch a futuristic shiny design.

This version is a collaboration with the clothing brand Chipie, with their name above the display and etched into the back. The clothing brand has been making girls/women's clothing since around 1972, starting with jeans and influenced by American college clothing.

The full model number is C351-L17548, and it came out in 1997.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lanco Mechanical Jump-Hour

Although I have a large watch collection, I don't have too many Swiss mechanical watches. But today's watch is one of the few!

The watch is by Lanco, which was the most well known brand of the Swiss Uhrenfabrik Langendorf SA watch Company (hence LanCo). The company started in 1890, and the Lanco brand was launched in the late 1950s and then was revived in 1970s, being merged into the Omega-Tissot group in 1971. Production of full Lanco watches stopped in 1973 (as other manufacturers movements were used after this time) . This particular watch is one of the 1970s models, and appears to be after the merger as the buckle shows the capital T which was one of the older Tissot S.A logos.

It is a true jump hour watch, with the hour marker staying still until 2 minutes before the hour change, finally clicking into the new hour on the exact time. The minutes dial is constantly rotating.

It is powered by a 1 jewel mechanical movement by Agon Chromatic Watch Corp, and is designed to be shock resistant. Agon Chromatic Watch Corp (aka Agon SA, or Agon Watch Co)  were a private label watch manufacturer from the early 50s to the mid 70s. It was founded by the Triebold family (mainly by Eddie and Othmar, but possibly started in the 30s by their father) in Mumpf, making a large number (it seems maybe millions) of watches and movements. In 1971 the company was taken over by SSIH (the core of today's Swatch Corp), but stopped in the mid 70s when cheap quartz movements came out.

If the items above work out, this watch must have been made between 1973 and around 75/76 as the T on the strap suggests after 71, and the use of a non-Lanco movement, after 73, but must have been before the mid 70s when Agon SA stopped production. So it is actually part Lanco, part Omega/Tissot, and part Swatch!

There is a number 12742 on the back, and as I've seen others with the same number, I assume this is the model number. I don't know the original sale price, but I've seen this on eBay for around £200/$300.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Casio G-Shock DW-600

I recently purchased a few G-Shocks in the DW range, which were smaller than the usual G-Shock watches.

This watch was released in December 1994 along with a few other designs labeled DW-6x0, but they were all small. This particular model is the DW-600.

These watches were actually the forerunners to the Baby-G which came out in May 1995, so were one of only a few small true G-Shock watches Casio released.

It uses a 1104 module which has a two row LCD display showing day and date along the top, and 6 digit time along the bottom (but with the right-most digit appearing narrower than the others). Mode-wise, the watch has alarm and stopwatch functions, and the mode button is also used to cycle through to the time setting mode.

Shape-wise, it is a normal shock resistant design, but has a wire attached set of bumper bars protecting the glass.

I'm not sure what this exact variants full model number is, but the strap part number is 426F214.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Hashu Electronvolt HD-002

In earlier posts, I've talked about the Spaceman watches by Andre Le Marquand. This watch isn't one of them, but the design seems to have been based on that design. It has the same helmet shaped head, and the same three part strap.

The watch seems to be by Hashu  Electronvolt, and is model HD-002. Several other watches can be found on the web under the Hashu Electronvolt range, but there isn't much about the company.

It is an LED illuminated LCD display which shows 4 digits. The module is only basic with time, date, and seconds.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 - D380 white, no symbol

Today's watch is another where the shape will look familiar to those following my blog for a while, but with a design difference.

Many D380 watches were released in Citizen's Independent 1481010 range. The range was out from 1997 to 2003 as a fashion brand for young people, and more information can be found about the range in my 1481010 overview page (link).

Normally I refer to the D380 watches as 'radioactive', as they have the radiation symbol on the large front button. But some were released with no symbol (-there are at least 3 colour variants like this). It appears that the symbols are not printed rather than being worn away, as there is no trace of either ink or scratches on the button.

Apart from the lack of symbol, the watch is the same as the other D380 models, with the curved metal strap and shield shaped head. The watch has the normal curved effect dot matrix LCD display with mode indicator triangles. Mode-wise, there are dual alarms and a chronograph function. Pressing the button sets off an alarm composed by Ken Ishii, as with the normal model.

The full model number is D380-L18765 but it doesn't appear in any of the catalogues. This particular watch was made in 1998.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cabane de Zucca Frozen Wani

The shape of today's watch may be familiar to those who've followed my blog for a while, but the model is new!
This watch is called the Frozen Wani and was released in 1999 as part of the collaboration between the design company Cabane de Zucca, and Seiko. The collaboration began in 1995 when the fashion label began to branch out into watches, and is still going on with new models still being released.

The watch design is the same as the alligator watch from the 1998 Safari Zoo range, but this version comes in a transparent blue/white material. The watch strap is textured like an alligators skin, and there is an alligator head cover which slides over the buckle, giving the impression that the alligator is eating its own tail around your wrist!

The watch uses a Seiko W240 module with a red Z incorporated into the el-backlight. The display is a 2-line LCD with date and day on the top, and time (6 digits + am/pm marker), with all digits leaning towards the right. Mode-wise, the watch has stopwatch (with pace setting mode), timer, and alarm.

The full model number is W240-4120, and the catalogue number is AWAB009. It was originally on sale for 15,000 yen.