Friday, 30 November 2012

ZZYZX Violin watch

Today is the last day before the weekend, and the final day of my Zzyzx collection of instruments.

The week finishes with a Violin (or possibly Viola) - did any of you guess it correctly?

The watch was sold under the Zzyzx brand in around 2001, and was one of many novelty quartz analogue watches sold under this name. The Zzyzx brand is owned by Hong Kong based Hind International Investment Ltd along with the Empress, Lifestar, and Sudima brands. The company was founded in 1958 or 1987 depending on the information source, and appear to be quite a small company.

All the Zzyzx instrument watches were issued in hard cases shaped like the instrument. I have some of the boxes, but they are packed away in a box somewhere, so I'll post pictures when I find them!

The Violin watch is styled similarly to the guitar watches, with the watch head being the Violin's body, and the top strap designed as the Violin's neck. The watch head is made of wood patterned plastic, and has a model chin-rest (which is how I concluded it wasn't a Cello or Double Bass). Under the 'bottom' strap, a large ZX is engraved into the body. This version doesn't have any strings included, with only a string design moulded into the strap/neck.

It uses the same module as the others which is a small Japanese quartz movement, and time is displayed on a 3-hand dial (with the triangular Zzyzx logo printed on).

This watch may not be of the same series as the others as the back of the watch is different. Instead of the triangular logo, it has a series of numbers:
It also quotes the battery size SR620SW (AG4).

So I hope you weren't too bored by me posting similar watches in quick succession, and the normal variety resumes tomorrow :-).

Thursday, 29 November 2012

ZZYZX Drum Kit watch

Day 4 in the Zzyzx band, and it's time for the drums. I hope you aren't all getting board of these Zzyzx watches by now.

This is the fourth of 5 musical instruments watches that were released under the Zzyzx brand in around 2001.

The Zzyzx brand is owned by a Hong Kong based watch manufacturer called Hind International Investment Ltd. The company was founded in either 1958 or 1987 depending on which source of information I used. Under the Zzyzx brand, many different types of novelty watches were produced including these instruments.

The drum kit watch is probably the largest of the group. It has 3 different 'drums' and a cymbal, with the watch face on the lowest drum. All of the drums have a sparkly texture, with the two that are not overlapping (the watch face and one other) having glass over.

As with the others, the watch has a 3-hand dial with the logo on the face, and is powered by a Japanese quartz movement with an AG4 battery. It also has the same triangular shape and '2001 design ZX original' engraved into the back.

The strap on this one is a more normal leather strap. It has a buckle fastening with a logo engraved (ZX in a triangle).

So now I've covered all of the normal instruments in a band, and guesses on the final instrument?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

ZZYZX Guitar watch

Today, I get to the Guitar in my Zzyzx band (after my mistake on day 1).

This watch under the Zzyzx brand has a body shaped like a guitar with the watch face in the middle. The watch even has Tremelo (or whammy bar) which is hinged and can move. Design-wise, it appears to be an electro acoustic guitar, similar to the Ibanez Hollowbody Electro Acoustic guitar (here).

As with the Bass Guitar, the neck of the guitar is one half of the strap (with a leather section for the other half). The watch only has 4 strings (as with the bass), but there are 6 tuning pegs on the end of the neck.
The Zzyzx brand was produced by Hong Kong based Hind International Investment Ltd, with these watches coming from 2001.

The watch itself is a 3-hand dial (with the logo on the dial), and is powered by a Japanese quartz movement (which takes an AG4 battery).

Again, the watch back says '2001 design ZX original'.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

ZZYZX Grand Piano watch

For the first time in my blog, I'm running a series one after another during one week.

So here is day 2 in the Zzyzx week.

Today it's the piano's turn in the Zzyzx band. This one is a little less like the actual instrument, but is certainly piano inspired.

The watch part is similar, with a 3-hand dial and the logo on the face. It uses a small Japanese quartz movement which is run by an AG4 battery.

The watch is made by Hind International Investment Ltd, who used the Zzyzx brand in the early 2000s. The company is based in Hong Kong.

The shape of the watch head is like a Grand Piano with the watch face on the piano top (offset compared to the strap), with piano keys on the right. Across the middle of the face is a curved metal keyboard design which is fastened over a leather strap and holds it in shape across the top of your wrist.

This also has the text '2001 design ZX original', on the back.

Monday, 26 November 2012

ZZYZX Bass Guitar watch

I've posted collections bit by bit on the blog so far, so I thought I'd make a change and have a theme week.

Zzyzx can mean several things, it was an album by Zeromancer, a 2005 film, or songs (Zzyzx Scarecrow by Stavesacre, or Zzyzx Rd. by Stone Sour). It can also refer to 'the last place on earth', which is an abandoned town in California, which was named to be the last word in any alphabetical list.

In this case, it refers to a brand of novelty watches made by Hind International Investment Ltd. They produced many different types including a 5 piece band, and today is the first of those.

The body of the watch is shaped like a Bass guitar (but with only 4 strings), and has a 3-hand dial in the middle. The neck of the guitar makes up one of the watch straps, with a hook on the back to clip into the other part. (I posted this at first as the lead guitar, but forgot to look at the number of tuning pegs :-s - So for a change, the Bass comes first!!)

The back states 2001 design ZX original in a triangular shape.
The other watches in the series will be coming in the following days.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Citizen Hisonic 3702 Tuning Fork Watch

I bought today's watch when I was in Tokyo and ventured to an Antiques and Collectors fair. It looks far more normal than my usual watches, but the noise was what took my interest.

The watch is a Hisonic by Citizen. In an attempt to improve accuracy and produce better electronic watches, Bulova created a new mechanism called the tuning fork. This system used a simple transistor based circuit controlling an electromagnetic tubing fork. In the mechanism, each vibration turns a small (2.4mm) wheel tooth by tooth using a tiny prism shaped ruby. This frequency results in 360 steps per second, meaning that the second hand appears to sweep rather than tick.

The first watch to use this was the Bulova Accutron in the late 60s (which I still want). In 1971, Citizen entered into partnership with Bulova to licence the mechanism and sell the watch in the Japanese market. This resulted in the Hisonic being developed, and today is one of those. The tuning fork watches ended in 1977 after the quartz movement became widespread.

This one uses a 3702 movement (the first Hisonic was the 3701), which has a 3-hand dial and day & date at the 3 o'clock position. It has a sparkly green face, and a Hisonic metal strap. The crown also has the Hisonic logo (a dual tuning fork shape like a H lying on its side). Pulling out one click puts the watch in time setting mode, and two clicks out disconnects the battery.

If the serial numbers follow the more recent pattern for Citizen watches, it will be from 1974 (but it does have too many digits). Citizen released around a million of the Hisonic watches, and the models were expensive at the time (from 38,000 yen to 60,000 yen in 1973).

The full model number is 3702-370287.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Timex Skiathlom - Blue with resin strap.

Very early on in my blogging, I posted about an unusual watch called the Timex Skiathlom (although it's often misquoted as Skiathlon). In that post I mentioned that there was another colour scheme, and there was a resin strap option.

I have now got one of those resin strap, alternative colour versions, and that is what I'm posting today.

The Skiathlom came out around 1987 (the trademark was registered in 1986), and had finished by 1993 (as the trademark was ended then). It was aimed at skiers, with large buttons that can be operated with gloves, and an external temperature sensor. A surf version called K-28 Surf was also released and had only cosmetic differences.

The watch has a two line LCD display (6 digits per line), with day month and date on top and time below. Temperature is displayed along a bar at the top (approximately 3C per block, but the scale isn't quite even), or can be shown as digits replacing the date display. It also has alarm, timer, and chronograph functions.

The watch was made in Korea, and uses a 2016FA (CR2016) cell

Friday, 23 November 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 - Digi-Ana C353 Blue

Today I am featuring a watch I've posted a couple of special editions of, but this is one of the original standard types.

The watch is part of the Citizen Independent 1481010 collection, which was released in 1997 as a brand for the young and fashionable, and finished in 2003. More can be found on the range in my overview page (link).

This particular model is based on the C353 module, which was used in the 1481010 range from the start of 1999 until 2002. It is one of many types of Digi-Ana / Ana-Digi watches that Citizen released around that time which featured both a digital LCD display, and an electronic dial display. It was the first model in the Neophilia (meaning the love of new) range with other Neophilia watches being released in later years.
In the C353 watches, the electronic dial is in the bottom left and shows time. It can be set independently from the digital display meaning that you can set the watch up with dual time.

The LCD display takes up most of the watch face and shows time (6 digits with smaller seconds) in the default settings. The watch also has dual alarms, chronograph, and timer functions, which are displayed on the LCD screen. There is also a small cosmetic LCD display in the bottom right which shows a grid of blocks which fill and empty by the seconds.

It uses a one piece continuous curved metal strap, edged with resin, making it have a shiny futuristic feel. Because of this and it's large size, it is often noticed and commented on whenever I wear one.

The full model number for this blue version is C353-S72803, and the catalogue number was IT21-4493S. It's original sale price was 15,000 yen.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Spaceman Watch by Andre Le Marquand - Violet Date only mechanical version

I've been skirting around the Spaceman watch range for a while without showing the original design. So today I'm finally blogging one of the originals.

The Spaceman watch was released at the Basel fair in 1972. Four series were released with the oval original coming in 6 colours. Inspired by 1969 moon landing /launch of the first space vehicles, Andre Le Marquand was asked to create a range of unique watches by the owner and the director of the Swiss Catena Bulle watch company. This design was what he came up with and they were a surprise success, with overall about 150,000 being sold.

This design was available with or without date and day, and automatic and mechanical versions. This one is the mechanical version with a date just below the 4pm mark. 

This one does not have the correct strap, as the violet dial in version should have a white strap. It could be that the strap has been switched (as they go brittle and split), or it is a copy (of which many were made in Hong Kong). The original straps were made out of an artificial leather called Corfam and manufactured by Dupont. They had an unusual shape with the three prongs going into the case, and were in one piece fitting around the centre of the movement.

The back is made of fiberglass, and has an embossed picture of and astronaut.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Casio G-Shock DW-610

Today it's the third of my mini G-Shock watches. They were meant to have been blogged in order, but this 'middle' version comes last due to me picking up the wrong one last time.

This model is the DW-610, and is the third in my DW-6xx range. As with the DW-600 and DW-620 that I've blogged earlier (here and here), this is a smaller size G-Shock watch which was one of the last small versions in the full G-Shock range (released in Dec 1994) before the introduction of the Baby-G in May 1995.

It uses a 1416 module which has the same general features, but different layout, as the DW-620's 1419 module. There is a 6 digit LCD display with smaller seconds, and a squashed first digit. I'm the middle of the face there is a round segment with a 5x5 dot matrix LCD display. This normally shows a letter G which rotates for 2 seconds every 10 seconds, but also shows the letters of the mode name when not in time mode. When the el-backlight is illuminated, this display shows an animated stickman surfing (maybe snowboarding), performing tricks, and wiping out at the end. Like the other mini G-Shocks and Baby-Gs this watch is only 100m water resistant (compared to 200m for a regular G-Shock).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Seiko Wired Basel 2003 limited edition - W720

In the watch world, whenever you think of a large watch event, Basel springs to mind. It is one of the biggest watch events of the year, and the place where most of the big manufacturers release their latest (often premium) models.

Seiko have been well represented over the years, and have often produced special edition watches for the event. One of the lines they have produced specials in has been their high-tech Wired range, and today's watch is one of those. This particular one is from Basel 2003, and is called/coloured Silk Gold.

The watch is an LCD watch with 4 digits on two lines to show the time. The noticeable thing about these digits are how rounded the numbers are. It is similar to the W710 watch (Wired 2nd Anniversary) I've blogged earlier (found here), but is an updated design which does not require the number's placement to move to cover all digits. There is also a date display along the top (date and month) in a font with curved corners.

This watch also has an alarm mode which can be reached by turning the crown, and there is an hourly chime (set by pulling out and re-pressing the crown). Pushing in the crown sets off the el-backlight.

Time is set using the crown (same as in the really early LCD watches), and the date and alarm are set by pulling the crown when in the respective display mode.

The original sale price was 23,000 yen, and was limited to only 1500 watches. The full model number is W720-0AB0, and the catalogue number was AGBA002. The strap part number is F226-Z.O
View showing the mass of LCD segments

Monday, 19 November 2012

Mickey Mouse Projector watch

I'm blogging a modern kids watch today.

I saw it while looking for a kids present, and decided as I am a big kid at heart, I'd buy a watch while I was at it.

The watch is a basic 4 digit LCD watch, with two buttons on the front (left for setting, right for mode). The more unusual part is that there is a projector built in.
When you press the yellow button on the left of the watch, one of four Disney pictures are projected from the right side of the watch. Around the projector lens there is a black ring which can be rotated to focus the image depending on where you project it to. The image can be changed by rotating the yellow ring around the display. Overall, there are 10 different images.

There are no manufacturers marks on the outside of the watch, and all it states is that it needs 4x1.5V batteries.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Bandai SD Dechonpa Godzilla

It's been a few months since I posted one of the SD Dechonpa watches, so here is another one.

This one is a Godzilla watch, and as it's part of the SD range, he is a Super Deformed version (and is also referred to as Godzilla kun). Godzilla is one of the most known of the Japanese giant monsters and first appeared in 1954. Godzilla was created by accident from a nuclear detonation.

The SD Dechonpa watches were released from the 80s and through until 1994 by Japanese toy and game manufacturer Bandai.

It is a basic LCD module with only time, date, and seconds (changed by buttons on the back). To reveal the time, you move Godzilla's right leg, his mouth opens revealing the display, and his arms lift.

This one was made in 1989, and the box states "This is No. 1 Hero Watch"

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Vega Popeye LCD watch

Today it's another retro LCD, and also a novelty character watch.

This watch is by Vega, which was a line of watches by the ADEC watch company. Adec was owned by Citizen watches, and used Citizen modules.

This watch is one of the Vega Popeye watches (-there were several different types), and is an LCD watch with a 9538 module.

It has a 6 digit time display and will show the date when the button is pressed. The bottom half of the LCD is 9 groups of segments showing Popeye's girlfriend Olive Oyl. There is also a bulb based light.

Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon character who initially started in a comic strip Thimble Theater by Elzie Cristler Segar. Popeye was introduced in 1929 (10 years after the Olive Oyl character was invented), and became so popular, the comic was renamed after him.
On the watch, Popeye is shown (painted) sleeping on the bottom of the face. Olive appears on the LCD floating above Popeye (with flapping angel wings) and appears segment by segment (wings first) until she is completely showing (with flashing hearts).

The watch has a full model number of 9538-392311, and a catalogue number of KKR-057.
The back of the watch shows the Adec name along with the model number.