Thursday, 31 January 2013

Citizen Digi-Ana Chrono Alarm-Chime

Today I'm back wearing a retro watch again, and you may have noticed that out of my retro selection I have a thing for old Ana-Digi (or Digi-Ana if you prefer) models.

This one is a Citizen Digi-Ana which comes from 1979. From one of the adverts I've seen online these first came out around that time, and were described that "Digi-Ana is the Now and Future Watch... and only Citizen could achieve it!". It also seems from research that this has the 8910 module and was maybe the second model they released. There were a few slightly different variations on the shape, and this has fully rounded sides (rather than others with straighter edges).
The watch has a small dial with a crown to control. The LCD is over two lines with time along the top (4 digits), and seconds below. There are 4 buttons: light, date, mode and select, and the mode button selects between chime, alarm, and stopwatch.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Fossil Big Tic BG-1093 - Retro Cassette Player

The first watches from the Fossil brand that I noticed were in the same range as today's watch, called Big Tic.

The Fossil brand started in 1984 and produced it's first branded watches a year later. Their aim was to be passionate and creative, producing items with a sense of humour. The Big Tic watches were first released in 1998 and stood out from the rest because the face was covered with an LCD display behind the hands, usually showing large seconds digits. These watches have become a signature design of Fossil watches and contain patented technology to Fossil.

This particular model doesn't actually feature the LCD seconds display behind the hands on it's 2-hand dial. What it has is a complicated LCD panel which draws a line drawing (like an etch-a-sketch) building up the picture in segments. There are two different pictures that it alternates between - a stereo/retro cassette player, and a cassette. Inside, the case is packed with the module (-it's a large watch but it needs all of the inside volume for the electronics), and there are three batteries - Two 920 batteries for the LCD display, and a smaller AG4? for the time. The analogue time is adjusted with the crown, and there is also a button which stops the animation and lights all of the LCD segments at the same time.

The case is large and quite heavy, being all stainless steel, and the watch is 50m (165ft) water resistant.

The back of the watch states that it is covered under two US patents, numbers 5,636,185 and 5,995,456, and the strap is patent 6,418,706 B1.

It's model number is BG-1093 (or BG1093), and it seems the original retail price was $75.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Azeka - Design by Tatuya Ishii

A very simple, but quite unusual watch again today.

Based on the information on the back, the watch is by Azeka. From what I can find, Azeka is a French trading company specialising in watches, and based the the French watch capital Besançon. Not much is available on the brand itself but as the Azeka website ( now shows information on the Réparalux brand, I guess they were either a subbrand or were taken over by Réparalux. Réparalux was founded in 1956 by Marcel Humbert-Droz and is a family business, also based in Besançon.
The watch design is by Tatuya Ishii who is a Japanese musician and artist/industrial designer in his 50s who also does character design and stage shows. He is also known as Tatsuya Ishii, and was the singer in the band Kome Kome Club, before becoming a solo artist and has now released 12 solo albums.

His design is very simple, with a small wing for the hour hand and a wavy line and spiral for the minutes. The face is also textured with dots and wavy lines, and one of the posts holding the spring bar for the strap is also modified.

The watch part is a general 2-hand dial with crown at the 4 o'clock position. The movement is such that the minute hand moves in steps every minute rather than the more usual smooth motion.

I don't know when the watch was produced, but I'd guess sometime in the 2000s.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Vestal Mtrhead

A relatively plain looking watch today, but probably one of the heaviest watches I own - it says it's solid stainless steel, and I'd say it's definitely solid!

The watch is by the Vestal company and called the Mtrhead (I guess pronounced 'motor head'). The Vestal brand was started in 1997, and has close links with music culture, producing watches, eye wear, and soft goods.

It has a Japanese movement running it's 3 hand dial, and there is a date window at the 7:30 position. The numbers are printed with a 45 degree rotation anticlockwise - this is strange, as most of the time when you look at your watch it's at 45 degrees, but the other way, meaning the numbers look to be on their side (except when you fold your arms).
The back of the watch has the watches name, along with an etched picture of a motorbike. Along the bottom, it has the statement: 'Unvaryingly regular in rhythm '.

The strap follows the sturdy theme and is solid steel shaped onto the body. The watch is also 5bar/50m water resistant.

It is relatively new, and the original sale guarantee showed it was bought in 2011. The silver version has a model number of MTR001 and seems to have been around $120.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Casio LE-51G Heart & Tech Message

If you've seen the pictures already, you'll have noticed that today's watch is a ladies watch (the wrist shot is just for a comparison of scale).

The watch is by Casio and is the model LE-51G. It uses a 451 module and shows a 4 digit display of time. It can display date and seconds too, but as both buttons are inset, you need a pen to press them.

With regards to the model, on the face it states 'Heart & Tech' just below the Casio name. It also has a small logo with a crown in the middle, and the date 1957 around the too. Under the display, there is a ribbon design with the word 'Message' printed on it.

The 1957 dare corresponds to the date which Casio Computer Co. Ltd was established. The Heart & Tech part is a bit of a mystery though, as there is nothing linked to Casio where it is quoted (although it is a fitting tag line for Casio). The Message text reads more like you can choose a message to be printed, as the watch has no databank functions. The module also doesn't appear in the Casio archives.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Timex SSQ Rounded LCD watch

Today is my second post of an old Timex range called SSQ.

The SSQ watch range started in the late 70s, with the name referring the module - Solid State Quartz. I've seen a booklet from 1975 in the Digital Watch Library website which features this exact watch. The manual states that the watch can withstand 50 lbs p.s.i.a. water pressure (equal to 80 feet water depth). It also says that it uses a quartz crystal vibrating 32,768 times per second, and that there are over 2000 transistors on it's silicon chip. The fact that this model was in the 1975 booklet, it suggests that this was one of the earliest SSQs that came out.

It has a basic LCD module with time, date, and seconds, selected with the button on the right. Time setting is done by the inset button on the other side.

This one has no model number on the back of the watch, but states this takes a Timex 1500A cell (which is the equivalent of an AG13).

Inside the watch, it states that it was made in France.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Thunderbird 2 Watch

Today I'm covering a watch that is part of a series I began covering last October.

The watch is another of the Thunderbirds watches by Jasrac and/or Shinsha Organization. It features one of the International Rescue organisation's spaceships/aircraft, and is designated Thunderbird 2. Thunderbirds was a puppet series that started in 1965 and followed the International Rescue's missions to help those in danger. The Thunderbird 2 was the largest vehicle and was used as a transport vehicle (including moving Thunderbird 4).

The watch part is a basic LCD which is revealed as the vehicle is lifted. It shows 4 digits and has time, date, and seconds. It was released in 1998, and is not linked to any particular movie or series release.

It has a copyright from ITC which is the Incorporated Television Corporation. They were the company that commissioned the show, and the watch is also licenced to Polygram Licensing International.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Casio Wrist Camera WQV-2

It's back to the camera watches again today.

Casio first started their camera watch range in 2000 with a model called the WQV-1 (which can be found in an earlier post). Today's watch is the WQV-2, which was out around 2000/01.

The WQV-2 is extremely similar to the original, but with a different case design. It has a rounder design, a rubber strap, and came out in bright colours (like the yellow of today's model). The watch uses the same 2220 module, and also has a dot matrix LCD display of the same resolution. The screen normally shows time and date (set in pixels which are the equivalent of a 28x28 grid). It has a host of features including 5 alarms, stopwatch, and timer.

The camera takes black and white stills, and uses the screen as an electronic viewfinder. The camera has a few modes which allows the contrast to be set, and work with indoor or outdoor lighting.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Citizen Ana-Digi Temp Retro 8982 module

Another watch I've chosen based on weather today! It's the coldest day of the year today, so I thought I'd mark the occasion with a temperature sensor watch.

Actually, it's another of my Ana-Digi Temp watches. These watches were released by Citizen, starting in 1982, and were the first ever electronic temperature measuring watches. I have a whole page about this range including history and the models, and the link can be found at the top right of the page.

This model appears to be one of the earlier models released in the range. From the serial number, I'd guess this was made in 1989. It features an 8982 module (-the range had models starting at 8980 through to 8989). This is the same module as the earlier posted Citizen ProMaster Ana-Digi Temp, but the watch is a very different shape.

The full model number is 8982-089618, and the strap part number is 25185.

As with most Ana-Digi Temp watches, it has two electronic dials, and 3 windows with LCD displays. The LCD display and right hand dial show different things depending on the mode (and full details are in the overview page). The watch modes are dual time, alarm, stopwatch, and of course temperature, and there is a small bulb based light for the LCD.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Casio Art Casual PTM-10 - Blue Dino

It's time for a bit of colour today with a watch from Casio.

The watch is called the Art Casual. It has a tag line of Everytime Everywhere which I guess was to suggest that you could use it for all occasions. All of the range featured full colour designs on the face and strap, and remind me of the basic Swatch watches (plastic construction, rubber strap, similar size, lots of colourful design).

The watch itself has a model number of PTM-10, with this colour variant being PTM-10-3E1. It is a simple 3-hand dial run by a 381 quartz movement.

The picture on this model is not actually a dinosaur, but a mammal-like reptile called a Dimetrodon, and is the most famous prehistoric non-dinosaur. They lived in the early to mid Permian era, and were extinct 40 million years before the Jurassic era dinosaurs. They were a large predator with a large sail on their back. They had two rows of teeth (which is associated with their name), and they grew to between 1.7 and 3.7m long. The watch features one on the dial with its tail stretching down the strap. The strap features two more Dimetrodon and a jungle/swamp scene.

Not much else is known about the Art Casual range, but I have a few guesses. Looking at the design and colours, I'd guess that these are from the 80s (maybe 90s), and there are no real references to the watch online that aren't in Japanese, so I'd guess that this was a Japan (or Far East) release only.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Storm Digi Red

Back to the Storm watches today (although with blue skies and sunshine, Storm doesn't feel quite right).

The Storm brand has been around since 1989, and this London based company is the only recognised British fashion watch company.

The watch is called the Storm Digi (not to be confused with the Digi-ROM that I blogged last year). If features a one piece rubber strap with a mirrored LCD face, and the Storm name moulded into the rubber. The strap fastens with a metal clasp, but without much adjustment, so you need to cut the strap to the right length (so be careful if you are buying one second hand).

The display is such that normally it appears blank (just a plain mirrored face), and only when the button is pressed does the time appear in a backlit dot matrix style arrangement (-it's not a true dot matrix and can't display characters other than the time). The time is displayed on 2 lines, and is set up for only 4 digits (but only 12 hour clock). Pressing the metal button only reveals the time, and nothing more, so the module appears basic until you spot the other two hidden buttons. Below the metal button, you can see two small circles in the rubber. The top one of these is a mode button which switches between time, date, and seconds display. The bottom button is just for time setting. Both buttons are quite hard to press and need either enough of a fingernail or a pointed object to press.

The back has the watch name and two numbers which are the serial number, and a model number of TC.JU11. Online stores also show this with a model number of 47078/R. It has an RRP of £49.99, and although it isn't on the Storm site anymore, it can still be picked up at some online retailers.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Weekly Jump Hunter X Hunter promo watch

The watch I'm blogging today is unfortunately another that I need to fix.

It was actually a free watch given away with the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump. The manga started running in this magazine in 1998, with 340 chapters published and is one of the best selling mangas from the magazine.

Thanks manga is focused on a little boy named Gon (who is pictured on the strap) who's finds out his father is a renowned hunter and wants to follow in his footsteps.

The watch features an LCD panel split into 3 lines. It has two buttons, and set and a mode button. Even though it is currently not working, I'd guess that it only has a simple module with time, date, and seconds only.

The case is see through, and you can see the module through (which has the number RE-9924 on). The strap features the anime/manga name and 3 of the characters.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Trafalgar Talking Watch

Today's watch is a first - it was the first British talking watch, and was just pipped to being the first talking watch by Palerma.

Unfortunately, my watch has lost it's voice (which I think is due to some loose connections for the power).

The watch is a the Trafalgar Talking Watch which was released in 1981 (there was also an improved model in 1983 but this had slide switches under the display). Trafalgar are a bit of a mystery company, as I know they were an English company, but have difficulty finding anything more.

This watch has a 6 digit LCD display, with indicators for alarm, chime, and day of the week. The main feature is that the watch will speak the time when you press the front button. The other feature is an alarm. It uses 4 x 393 (AG5) batteries which are accessed by a small plastic cover on the back.

These can have large collectors value as an improved model sold at Sotherbys for £813 (after a valuation of £80-120).

Friday, 18 January 2013

Rado Quartz Dial Watch

After yesterday's slightly excessive watch, it's back to a normal sensible watch today.

The watch is by Rado, and is (currently) my the only Rado watch in my collection. The Rado company (full name Rado Uhren AS) originates from Switzerland, and the name first appeared in 1956. The company can trace its roots back to 1917, but was named Schlup & Co Clockwork Factory (after the brothers who founded it). Nowadays, the Rado brand is most known for it's highly scratch resistant ceramic watches.

This model appears to be a relatively early quartz watch by the company, and is a glass and steel construction.

It has a 3-hand dial and features a date at the 3 o'clock position. The dial is almost square, but as the corners are missing, it is actually an octagonal design. The face has dots for the hour markers except for 6 and 12 which feature roman numerals. The strap is stainless, with a very fine and strong structure.

It has a reference number of 107.9620.2, but that can't be found on the Rado site anymore. So I'm afraid I don't know when it came from (-my guess would be 80s), so please comment if you know something!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Special Blog Birthday Treat - More Robot watches

Hello readers!
As you may have noticed, it is the first anniversary of my blog today, so as well as posting a special robot watch as today's entry, I've got an extra treat - a full history of the Tokima robot watches which can be found from the links on the top right (if you are visiting from a web browser rather than mobile version), or directly from this link

Also, as I'm slightly erratic at the time of day I post, you can now also follow when I've blogged by various means:
1) Follow me on blogger (using the "Join this site" button on the left)

2) Check out my Twitter @Jollyaard

3) Subscribe to my RSS feed using the button to the left, or by adding to your rss reader (such as Google Reader or you can add it to Google Currents if you're using that app too)

Hope you are liking the blog, and please get in touch if you have comments, question, or just want to chat about the watches. It's always nice to get feedback and suggestions so I know that I'm providing you all with interesting and informative stuff!! :-D

Bandai Tokima Steam Head Special Edition

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog!! And to mark the occasion I'm wearing one of my Tokima robot watches (as I tend to do for each celebration). Also, as a blog birthday treat, I'll be posting an overview page covering the whole story of the Tokima robots.
UPDATE: It's now up and can be found here: link

The Tokima robot watches were made by Japanese toymaker Bandai, and were first seen in the early 1980s as plastic kids watches. In 1998, Bandai resurrected the line with a set of larger metal watches which must have been aimed at adults who had the watches as kids 15 years earlier (as it's too big and heavy for most children). Two designs were released and included a new design called the Steam Head.

The Steam Head watch was a transforming robot watch as the others, but with a more steampunk feeling, and was released in a few different colours and strap variations. In late 98 or early 99, they released a special limited edition of the watch, and that is what I'm wearing today :-).

The special edition was released as a numbered limited edition of 3000, and to make it extra special, this particular watch is number 0001/3000!!! The shape of the watch is the same as the standard model, but came in shiny silver with a swirling pattern on the robots head (and a special white box).

The watch uses a dot matrix LCD display, which normally shows the time but will also show random, mainly Japanese, messages. It has time, date, and stopwatch modes in the module, and is powered by a CR2032 battery.

The watch head is also the robot, and once released from it's holder (by the spring loaded fittings at the top and bottom) it can be transformed. Transformation happens by rotating the part covering the display and moving it onto the top to make the head, and then pulling out the legs to release the arms.