Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Seiko Wired XYZ "flight" Limited Edition - Zaizu range

This watch is from another of Seiko's sub-brands, the Seiko Wired.
The particular model is one of the Wired XYZ range and seems to be aimed at travellers who like flying (and it even has a plane silhouette printed above the display).

The watch has two inverse dot-matrix LCD displays, rotated at 90 degrees to a normal display. The right-hand screen shows the time, and the left screen shows the time in one of 3 alternative time-zones (which you can set yourself). Pressing the middle button on both sides at the same time switches the two times, so quickly allowing you to change time-zones. The W771 module also has date and two alarms, and an electro-luminescent backlight.

The model shown is a limited edition of this design, with only 300 being made. The model version is 0AB0 (compared to the normal versions model number of 0AA0). Another one of these for sale suggested that it was part of the Zaizu (ザイズ) range, but this could also be the Japanese nickname for the XYZ watches.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Watch brand summary page - SeaHope

Today, it's time for another page summarizing a particular brand or line of watches. All of the details can be found on the page:

Casio BP-120 Blood Pressure Monitor

The Casio BP-120 was released in the mid/late 90s as a follow up to the BP-100 blood pressure monitor watch. The BP-120 was mainly a cosmetic update, having a square design, compared to the rounder nature of the earlier version. This particular watch is the Japanese model, with the descriptions for the buttons around the display being in Japanese text. This model was also released in two versions, the silver metallic version with a metal strap (as shown here), and a black resin version, with a black resin strap (which can be found here).

The watch uses a 1101 module (same as the other models) with an LCD display, and time & date display. The top (yellow) part of the display is a dot-matrix LCD, and the bottom section is a standard display. The watch also has sensors on the front, and built into the back of the case for measuring pulse and blood pressure. The method of pressure monitoring is based on a principle from an ECG heart monitor called PWTT (Pulse Wave Transit Time). It works my measuring the difference in time between the pulse waves from the aorta to a pheriferal artery. The change in time between these pulses is proportional to the change in blood pressure. This method can therefore only estimate the result, and needs calibration for each user. More details on the method can be found at:

The manual for the 1101 module can be found here.
For other blood pressure watches, see also the BP-300 here, and two versions of the black resin BP-120 here and here.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Storm Reflector - the watch that started a collection!

This watch is the first one that was in my collection. I'd had other watches before, but this was so unusual at the time it sparked my interest in what else was out there.
It all started one year when I didn't know what I wanted for my birthday, so while wandering around the shops of Manchester, I stumbled across a shop in a place called Affleks Palace. This shop sold all sorts of metal items, but one one side, there was a display of Storm watches. I immediately noticed the Storm Reflector as it seemed not to have a display, but once I found out how it worked, I needed to have it!

The watch has a normal seeming dial, but in mirror image (vertically). To tell the time, you need to look at the inside of the mirrored lid. The mirrored lid isn't completely opaque, and from some angles, in the right light, you can just make out the hands. This gave a great trick of telling the time from a seemingly blank watch :-)

Unfortunately, this watch has had a lot of use, and is on its 2nd strap (due to the old models suffering from corrosion), and it's 2nd lid (after the small clip on the lid keeps getting caught - the first time through a ceilidh accident)!

The Storm Reflector was released in 1994, and is currently out of production.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

GSX300 Tekkamen - In The Space

Today, I'm wearing another of my watches by GSX, who are known in Japan for their ranges of exclusive watches and collaborations with various films, series, or products.
This watch is a GSX300, and one of three versions released the 25th August 1997. This version is called 'In The Space'.

The watch is designed to be reminiscent of the 1950s with a one piece steel case, and the glass area reduced to a minimum.

The watch uses a 6038 module, and has a model number of H13308.
This is a rotating dial watch, with the time showing where a fixed red line crosses the rotating dials. The second-hand looks like a silver cog in the centre, with one red tooth as a marker.

Like the other GSX watch I've published, it is designed by S. Misono, and produced by N. Ishida.
The official website for this model is:

Saturday, 25 February 2012

EleeNo Jekyll and Hyde

EleeNo are a Japanese watch design company that work on the principle of 'handless time', or designing watches without the use of hands in the normal way. This principle leads to many unusual designs, with many of them being of limited production. The EleeNo is under the umbrella of SeaHope (a distributor of unusual watches, who also design and sell their own watches). More details on the brand can be found at

The Jekyll & Hyde or (J&H) is one of the EleeNo designs from the 2000s with an unusual feature - 2 different ways of telling the time on the same dial.
In the black & grey mode, the dials rotate (hours in the middle, minutes on the outside) and can be read by looking where the fixed red line crosses the dial.
In the blue & grey mode, the numbers are fixed, and markers (hands) mode round (hours with a thick line and minutes with a narrower line).
The bezel of the watch rotates anticlockwise, and this allows the mode to be changed. It is possible to read the time when not fully set in one mode, but only if the red line on the black & grey mode is visible.
It is quite hard to read the blue & grey mode at some times due to difficulty seeing the markers when they cross, or are at the 3 and 9 positions where you need to switch between the two parts of the dial.
There is no model number or movement number shown on the watch itself.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Lenticular strap LCD watch

Today is another of my cheap and cheerful watches.

This watch was bought from a chain of shops called Octopus, but I also saw this style of watch being sold in the toyshops in Japan. The thing that appealed to me was the lenticular strap, as this gives the watch an eyecatching effect when it moves. The lenticular type of picture is the same as the 3D posters you can get and the kids toys where you see a different picture depending on the angle you see it from.

Because of this effect, I've noticed many people having a double-take when they glance at the watch and see the strap seem to move! You can see a bit of the effect in the wrist shot as the pattern seems to change part way around the strap.

The LCD module is un-named, and only has time and date functions.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Seiko Airpro - Robo Air A861 talking watch

In their history, Seiko has made some strange watches, and today is one of those.

The Seiko Airpro is a watch from the late 90s, early 2000s (the trademark was registered in 1998 and cancelled in 2006), in the same vein as the Reebok Pump trainers, which has a pumping mechanism and inflatable bags behind the watch which can be set to give you a comfortable fit to your wrist. There were 3 different versions of the AirPro, and this is one of them, sometimes known as the Robo Air.

The large black button that can be seen at the bottom of the watch is the rubber pump button, and the small silver button at the top is the pressure release, and this mechanism takes up most of the volume of the watch.

The watch itself is a talking watch with an LCD display (using the module A861), and only tells the time in Japanese (activated by the small black button below the display). The module also has alarm and chronograph functions, and changing the mode is also accompanied by a japanese mans voice announcing the name of the mode.

The full model number (and other codes) is:
A861-4000  A0  T14
The catalogue number is SBZV007 and was originally sold for 21,000 yen (1999)

Robo air page from the Japanese Airpro catalogue

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 D500 "shutter"

Time for another 1481010 (as these make up about 20% of my collection).
This model is one of the 1481010 range using a D500 module, and the display works the same as the 1481010 neophilia I posted in Jan 2012.

The time, by default, shows the seconds in the center of a mirrored LCD display, and when the time button is pressed (bottom right) the watch beeps, and the mirror display fades out (like opening a shutter), revealing the time. As a neat touch, if you press the light button (bottom left) first, there is no beep when the time button is pressed.

The watch has time, alarm, chronograph, and timer functions (top left button), beeping as the mode is changed (with a double beep when you get back to time).

The watch case is segmented, with the top connection to the strap able to flex up and down, and the bottom end of the case connected directly to the strap.

The full model number is D500-S69322, and catalogue number is IT21-4392K. The watch came out in 1999 or 2000, but had ceased production by 2003

For more information about the 1481010 range, see

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Seiko Alba Spoon Web W440

Today's watch is from another Alba (Seiko) sub-brand called Spoon.
Spoon watches were started in 1995 to bring new style to digital watches.
This particular model is the Spoon Web, and also has been refered to as the SAM, or Secret Agent Man, This watch is quite complex with a relatively high resolution dot matrix LCD (2 lines of 8x56). The time is displayed on the right hand line, and can be shown in two orientations. The left line normally shows the day, but also shows random quotes (I'll list some at the bottom of the post). Pressing the bottom button in time mode also gives a quote, whereas turning the button brings up the date.
Other modes are:
- address book
- memo/messages
- chronograph
- timer
- alarm
The full model number is: W440-4000
The watch has a catalogue number, and had a price (in 1999) of 21,000 yen.

List of quotes can be found after the jump:

Monday, 20 February 2012

Citizen Independent 1481010 C353 Digi-ana - Tanz Diele

Time for another of the 1481010 collection today.
This watch is the larger of 1481010 digi-ana watches that was produced as part of the Independent range between 1997 and 2003.

The watch uses a C353 module, and has time, two alarms, chronograph, and timer. The display has both an LCD digital and an electronic dial display. In the bottom right, there is an additional dot matrix LCD panel which fills and empties second by second in a repeating pattern.

The watch strap is a one-piece metal band which is quite springy, and passes around the sides of the display, resulting in a curved watch face. This model has a blue face, and transparent grey trim on the strap.
The back of this particular model is stamped with the name TanzDiele. The word tanzdiele is German for dance-floor (or dance hall), but has very few links to Japan that I can find. I've included a photo of the logo in-case anyone recognises it!

The full model number is C353-S72790

For more info on the 1481010 line, see

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Quiz - Zero-G

Today's quiz is a little easier than the last couple - just let me know what time it says on the watch in the picture.
The watch is a Zero-G watch by Futara and was distributed by Tokyoflash. The watch was released around 2007. The time is displayed on a mirrored LCD, but there are no other features, only the time display. The watches two buttons are for setting the time (left) , and making the display show a short animation (where the markers showing the time sweep on and off).
I'll tell you how the display works once someone has guessed the right time.

[update] - the time was correctly guessed so I can fill in the missing details
The hours are indicated by the bar extending from the centre of the watch, and the minutes is indicated by where the line around the outside ends. So the time shown is 04:53

Saturday, 18 February 2012

First sub-collection summary page - 1481010 Overview

As my collection grew, I began to get groups of watches which were all from the same brand. Eventually, these became collections in their own right, and I aimed to find as much as possible on the whole line of watches. This information is a little bit too much to have when I talk about an individual watch, so I will be creating pages (the link to which can be found in the top right of the webpage if you're checking from a computer, or at the bottom of this post).
The first page is one of the first sub-collections, the 1481010 line which were released mainly in the far east between 1997 and 2003. As I find out more information, I'll keep updating these pages, and create more as I get time. Please feel free to comment if you know any other facts missing from the page, so we can make this one of the most complete histories of the brand out there on the web :-D

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my first brand overview page: The Citizen Independent 1481010 Line!

Seiko Alba AKA LCD W853

This watch is another of the Alba AKA watches released in the late 90s.

The watch is based around the W853 module which is the same as the older Seiko h-Timetron.
The display is a dot-matrix LCD. The time can be shown in two versions; large time + day, or small with date and day. The displays are switched with a dedicated L/S button.
Pressing the menu button (bottom left) shows all of the available modes: time, alarm, chronograph, timer, and world time. The last button in the bottom middle is the electroluminescent back-light.

The full model number is W853-4010

Friday, 17 February 2012

Bandai Tokima Digorobo - 1983 red version

My blog is now starting it's second month, so I thought it was time for the first of my Bandai Tokima Digorobo watches.

The Tokima line is a collection of transforming robot watches first released in 1983 (-a larger metal version was released in 1998 - more on that in future posts). This watch is a red 1983 version with a red vinyl strap. The watch originated from the Japanese toy manufacturer Popy (founded in 1971 and known for it's robot toys) , which merged with it's parent company Bandai in March 1983. This original watch only mentions Popy on the back of the watch base, and Bandai on the watch itself. The Tokima Digorobo was copyrighted in 1983 by the Popy Kikakushitsu (or Kikaku) Company Ltd (aka Ginza Kikaku, or G.K. as shown on the back of the watch).

The watch is released from the base with two metal buttons on either side, and pulling out the legs releases the arms and completes the transformation to robot mode. To convert it back, you need to remember to put the legs in first, or the arms won't stay in!

The watch module is a basic LCD with time, date, and seconds display. These watches are probably my favorite sub-collection, and at the moment, I think I have every version that has been released - so expect many more of these to feature in coming posts! More can be found on the Tokima watch range in my overview page: link

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Citizen Ana-digi temp - Vert Dense Limited Edition

Today I'm wearing another of my Citizen Ana-digi temp watches. This one is a limited edition, released in 1999 for the Vert Dense clothes shop ( . This version was called 'blonde' and limited to 1999 watches.

This version uses the 8987 module, rather than the 8989 module used in the similar aged 1481010 version, but has exactly the same functions.

The full model number is 8987-Q01571 GN-4-S

For more information on the Ana-Digi temp watches, see here.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

COGU skeleton watch

Today's watch is not electronic for a change. The watch is an automatic skeleton watch with a curved triangular shape. The shape is very reminiscent of the classic Hamilton watches. Unfortunately, that is about all I know on the watch itself.
The COGU brand is also difficult to find information on. It is reported to have been formed by Cosimo Gucci (4th generation Gucci? eldest son of Roberto Gucci, born 1956 in Florence, Italy). The COGU brand started in 2004 after Cosimo wanted to explore his own unique approach to design, and belongs to a French company (from a 2008 interview) . The brand has both watches and accessories, but only seems to be active in the far east (HK, Taiwan, and Japan account for most of the links, and there is a YouTube video of a HK interview). The US trademark COGU appears (as of Dec 2011) to be owned by Sun Xianbo in the Liaoning province in Hong Kong. Because of all this, there is a lot of scepticism on whether this is a real Italian brand (and a translated Japanese site suggested that a check with the official import office found no record of the company).
But despite the history of the brand being a bit uncertain, the watch itself is a nice example of a full skeleton :-)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

i-pattern by i-pattern at Tokyoflash

This is another of my strange LCD watches. It looks so unusual that two shop assistants at an art concept store in Tokyo (a home of interesting watches) were asking where it was from!
The watch is called the i-pattern and tells the time by filling up bars on the display. The top half of the screen is the hours and the bottom half is minutes (in groups of 5 which fill from the middle). The 60th minute marker flashes to show seconds, and the centre of the circle shows am (empty) and pm (filled). There is also an alternate display for date & day (using the markers), and day & seconds (two letters from the day, and numbers). The watch also has an electroluminescent back-light.
This watch was sold by Tokyoflash (but now discontinued) , and I purchased mine in the Tokyoflash store Two-0-Two in Yokosuka (south of Yokohama).

Monday, 13 February 2012

Gundam 20th Anniversary Zeon version

Today's watch is a special edition released in 1999 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gundam franchise.
This particular version shows the symbol of the Principality of Zeon, and shows a picture of an MS-06S Zaku II (Char's Custom?) Commander Type mobile suit on the face.
The watch itself is a limited edition, with only 1979 of them being released. The body of the watch is curved down at the bottom, with foam rubber padded for comfort and fit.
At the moment, I do not know anything on the watch manufacturer, but will update this entry if I find out (and if anyone out there knows something, please contact me!)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Fossil JR-9886 Sundial

Today's watch is one that you need a sunny day and a compass to read.
The watch is by American brand Fossil from 1998, and may have been a limited release. The watches model number is JR-9886.
The watch is a normal sundial, with metal base, plastic gnomon (the part that casts the shadow), and leather strap. To tell the time, you need to find some sun, align the watch to right orientation with a compass, and see where the shadow lies.
The watch will run indefinitely, and is water resistant to as deep as you want ;-).
Unfortunately, due to needing the sun (and a compass) to tell the time, it's use is rather limited, so if you need to tell the time indoors, at night, on a cloudy day etc. then this is not a watch for you!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Casio Pela FS-11

Today is another of the retro LCD watch collection. This watch is a Casio FS-11 Pela film watch. The watch was released in 1985 as is a forerunner to the current Casio Film Watch range (see also for a more modern example).
The watch uses a 467 module, which has a huge display compared to the tiny size of the watch, but only has time and date functions. The watch head is integrated into the strap to help keep the small feeling of the watch, and is angled for comfort.

The original sale price in 1985 was 3900yen or $16, which is the equivalent of $33 in today's money.
I got this watch as "new old stock" so had never been opened, which is pretty nice for a watch of this age :-)