Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Alba Y145 Dial and 24 hr Disc Watch

Today's watch was one of a pile of watches I'd bought. It looked like a normal dial watch at first glance, but the numbers around the middle didn't line up correctly.

The reason for the numbers not lining up is that this watch by the Seiko brand Alba has an interesting feature - the middle of the face is a disc which is actually a 24-hr indicator. The central disc has the numbers from 2 to 24 (it only shows in twos) and rotates once in 24 hrs with the top being the time in the 24 hr clock. My one has a slight offset so the correct time on the dial actually appears at the 11 o'clock position, and I haven't worked out how to correct it.

The rest of the watch is pretty standard. It is a 3 hand dial with a Japanese quartz Y145 movement. I think it is from 1985 based on the serial number and style.

The full model number is Y145-6010, and it has an Alba strap with part number 6A71B.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Zihotch Retro Phone Watch

It's an unusual watch that has absolutely no display, but I have a few in my  collection, and I'm blogging one today.

Today's watch is huge - possibly one of the largest I have. It was produced by the Maywa Denki company who began at the end of 1960s producing vacuum tubes. They moved on to be a company producing many unusual instruments and lifestyle products.

The Zihotch watch is manufactured by Cube Co., Ltd from Tokyo and is designed to look like an old style rotating phone dial. The watch only has the dial and a small speaker in the middle, with no other display.

To tell the time, you need to ring the speaking clock - literally! Using the dial to ring 117 (the Japanese speaking clock) makes the watch tell you the time (in Japanese). Due to this working like an old style telephone, dialling 117 takes a bit of time as the dial needs to turn itself back to the start after every digit.

There is also a morning call function (alarm) which when active you can set a time by dialing the digits of the time you need.

It was originally sold for 6,090 yen, and came in a variety of colours. I think it was initially released in 2005 (as that's when the tech blogs first seem to pick it up).

Monday, 29 July 2013

Seiko AirPro A861 - Oh! Ya? 99SS Astro Boy Limited Edition

The problem with collecting watches from the 70s and onwards is that the materials used degrade over time.
The Seiko AirPro watches are one that have suffered so need to be handled with kid gloves.
Three variations of AirPro were released and this is the A861 version which were called Robo Air. This version has a basic LCD display (with 6 digits), but talks when you press the front button, telling the time in Japanese. It also has alarm and stopwatch modes.
This one was made in 1998 (which was the first year the trademark was registered), and is a limited edition for Astro Boy. The difference between this and the basic model (which was coded SBZV007) is that the top panel is clear revealing the speaker, and there is text printed on the panel. The text says "Oh! Ya? 99SS Astro Boy" and has Astro Boy's silhouette with the copyright Tetsuka Productions. The production run was very limited with only 300 ever being released.
Astro Boy (or Tetsuwan Atomu, or Mighty Atom) was the star of a Japanese manga by Osamu Tezuka (the "God of Manga") which started in 1952. Astro Boy was a robot made by Dr Tenma to replace his son who died in a car crash, but was given to the circus after he realised the robot could never be human. Astro was then rescued by Prof Ochanomizu and ended up fighting injustice, crime, and other evils.
The full model number is A861-4010

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Doctor Who Action Sounds Watch Dalek

I've covered watches for the big Sci-fi franchises Star Wars and Star Trek, but there is one other (especially in the UK) who's turn it is now.

This watch is from the UK series Doctor Who. The Doctor Who series started in 1963 and was relaunched 2005 after a short break. It covers the adventures of a time travelling alien (a Time Lord) as he explores the universe working to right wrongs, help people he meets, and sometimes save entire civilisations.

Doctor Who's oldest and most recognised adversaries are the Daleks. They are encased in a metal armour with an eye stalk at the top and speak in a recognisable metallic voice. This is a talking Dalek watch and has two of their phrases; "Exterminate" and "You would make a good Dalek" which are activated by pressing the two Dalek pictures, one on each half of the strap.

The cover of the watch has a 3D moulding of a Dalek which is swivelled open to reveal the LCD display. As with most novelty watches like this, it has a basic 4 digit display with time, date, and seconds options.

The watch was made by Wesco Limited which is a Zeon sub-brand. It looks to have been made in 2004, and has various copyrights to the BBC and to Terry Nation who was the writer who invented the Daleks.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Lip Mach 2000 LED

I have another of the Mach 2000 watches for you all today.

The watch is by the French brand Lip which has been around for getting towards 150 years. The Mach 2000 watches were designed by industrial designer Roger Tallon, who is probably best known for his TGV train design in France. Their collaboration started in 1975 and included the Fridge and the Mach 2000 designs.

This model is the LED version and one of the remakes rather than an original model. This one was originally sold in 2007 but is not available anymore (-it was at least available in 2009, but I don't know when they stopped selling them). It has the normal shape of the Mach 2000 with a curved left side and squared right side. There are two blobby buttons on the right with the top showing the time, and the bottom showing the date. On the left are two inset buttons for time setting.

I haven't decided yet whether it is a true LED or an LED illuminated LCD. The digits look like a standard 7 digit LCD display, but the light doesn't vary across the display as with most of the LED illuminated LCD watches.

The plastic/rubbery strap is quite thin and the buckle has the Lip lightning symbol they used for their electric watches.

It is made from Aluminium, and is actually made in France and has a reference number n the back of 1890712, along with another number 7010. The original sale price was 29,400 yen.

WhichWatchToday - now with YouTube links

As many of my watches have a very dynamic or animated nature, I thought I'd make YouTube videos for some of them, and hopefully will add more in the future. To help keep track of them, I'll add YouTube as a tag/label on the posts - Let me know what you all think!

The first ones I've done are:

Roberta Scarpa Automatic with Retrograde seconds
YouTube Link,  Blog Link

Phosphor Appear
YouTube link,  Blog Link

Timex Colour Changing Mechanical Watch
YouTube Link,  Blog Link

Friday, 26 July 2013

Citizen Independent 1481010 GSD - Chipie Edition

There are many of the Independent 1481010 watches I still have to blog, and today is another.

The Citizen Independent 1481010 range came out in the late 90s, and are probably my most extensive collection. Much more about these watches are can be found on my overview page.

This model is one of the GSD LED watches. The GSD stands for Graphical Sparkle Display, and describes the type of LED display that was used in the 1481010 models with a D400 module which has a shimmering effect. The display uses 7 segment LED groups to show 4 digits. It only has time and date options

Today's model is another of the collaborations with the clothing brand Chipie (which seems to be based in Paris judging by the attached label). Chipie are a brand making girls/womens clothing since 1972 and are influenced by American college clothing. The Chipie name is marked on the face of the watch under the display (and engraved on the back plate), and this model has a unique colour combination in the buttons (black and orange). Looking at the serial number, it looks like the model was released in 1998.

It seems that the catalogue number for Chipie is WTCXKS0002, and the watch came in a plastic pack rather than the normal box. The attached cardboard label has a slightly different number CWTCX KS 0002 and shows it was sold for 12,000 yen. The full model number is D400-S69314

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ro Bot Time Machine - Dairy Queen model

Sometimes I find watches that look like others but are not by the normal manufacturers.

Today's watch is a transforming robot watch that looks like the GoBot watch i blogged in June. But this one was not made by Impulse Ltd, but by CMI Corporation and is called a Ro Bot.

The watch was a promotional item released for American company Dairy Queen. The first Dairy Queen store opened in 1940, and the company sells soft serve ice cream and other fast food. The Dairy Queen logo is shown on the robots chest.

Sweda watches seem to have made various different watches for different brands, and seem to have been the American based CMI Corporation watch sales brand. The brand does still seem to be going and is listed as clock retail.

As with the GoBot, the watch has a magnetic back, but connects to the strap with a 90 degree twist. It is a square robot where the legs fold around the outside covering the arms.

As with most of these robots, it uses a basic 4 digit LCD display with time, date, and seconds, and two buttons on the front.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Phosphor Appear Black Crystal Display Watch

I don't normally go for watches with too much crystal bling, but as soon as I saw this watch i knew I had to have one!

The watch is called the Appear and is produced by Phosphor. They are probably most known for their e-ink watches, but also produced this style (which uses some similar principles).
At a glance, you see the face is covered with tiny Swarovski crystals with the numbers highlighted in black against the rest of the white crystals. As the time changes, the tiles change to show the new digits in black again. On closer inspection, you notice that the black digits aren't just lit or unlit, but are themselves lines of black crystals.

This is all due to the Micro-Magnetic Mechanical Digital (M3D) display. Each segment of the time is a pair of tiles, white on one side and black on the other, on a small rotor with a magnet. When the time changes, an electric pulse generates an electromagnetic force flipping the tiles to it's new position. The effect of the flipping, and the noise it makes while working is quite hypnotic (but at 10ms flipping time, you never really see the turning itself). I'll try to post a YouTube video to show this soon! UPDATE: Here is the YouTube video: YouTube Link
This type of display does not require any power while displaying a number - it only requires power to change the time.
The display has two rows of two digits (although the top only goes to 12), and you have display options for time, seconds, or off (just showing a face of crystals).

This particular colour and strap combination has a product code of MD007G, and can still be bought from Phosphor for $210

It is 50m water resistant, and the watch is made in China. The back also states that the US and foreign patents are pending.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Seiko 5 Actus Automatic 6106 movement

Another watch with a lookalike today.

This watch is very similar un appearance to the Seiko 5 Automatic watch i blogged about a while back.

The Seiko 5 range were Seiko's brand for affordable automatic watches (although they did have a couple of digital models). The Actus range seems to be a line that focused on the stylish luxury end of the scale. This seems correct as this watch has some more style features, such as a cut glass face, compared to the standard Seiko 5. The Actus range covered both Seiko 5s and normal models, and was around in the late 60s and 70s, with Actus meaning performance, progress, action, or movement.

This model is a Seiko 5 Actus SS 23 jewels model with an automatic 6106 movement. It features a 3 hand dial with a nicely moving second hand (around 4 ticks per second), and has a hidden crown at the 4 o'clock position. There is a day and date at the 3 o'clock position (with fast setting) , and this can either be in English or Japanese.

It looks like it was made in 1973 based on the serial number, and from what I've read online, the 5 Actus watches were sold for 9,400 yen or higher (but I don't know for this exact model).

Monday, 22 July 2013

Radio Eva 034 Daykeeper - Asuka Langley Soryu Version

Another watch where I've posted a version before (in April last year).

The watch is from a clothing line called Radio Eva which produces many different items linked with the Evangelion anime. The watches are called the Radio Eva 034 Daykeeper (Relax Plus Plugsuit Edition), and are a 3 line LCD display watch. The time shows with hours on the top, minutes in the middle, and seconds on the bottom. It also has an alarm and stopwatch, and the watch module is encased in the stretchy silicone new piece strap.

This one is the red version which is for the character Asuka Langley Soryu from the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime.  Asuka is the first pilot of the Eva Unit 02, and is normally seen in a red plugsuit. The character was voted the this most popular female anime character of the 90s in a 2010 poll (from the Newtype magazine).

They come in a stackable box with the watch trapped between two layers of stretchy clear plastic so that the watch looks like it is floating in space.

The watches are still available from Radio Eva for 5040 yen.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Banpresto Pokemon Mew Watch

I've been a Pokemon (or Pokémon) fan for a while. I guess the 'Gotta catch 'em all' mantra appeals to the collecting genes that I must have inherited.

Today's watch is another of my Pokemon watch collection, and is a little unusual. It is a Japanese model released by Banpresto in 1998 and was probably from a UFO machine or other toy dispenser. From the box, you can tell it's a Japanese model as it has the Japanese names on it (but in English) - Lizardo, Lizardon, Kameil, and Kamex instead of Charmelion, Charizard, Wartortle, and Blastoise.

This model is a Mew version, and has a moulded Mew figure on the lower strap, as well as a pokeball sticking put of the top of the case. There were 5 different versions, with the Mew one seeming to glow in the dark.

The unusual bit is the the rest of the watch seems to be designed to look like a mini G-Shock (and is the spitting image of the DW-600 I blogged in October).

The watch itself is just a basic LCD model with 4 digit display, and time, date, and seconds display options.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Hidden Display LCD Bracelet Watch

A quick post today of a watch I know little about.

This watch is not meant to be seen as a watch, but more of a bracelet. When worn, all you normally see is a grey sparkly plastic band with a red stripe and a couple of press studs, two on one side, and one on the other side.

The side with the double press studs is the size adjuster which allows the size to be changed by about 1cm.

Opening up the other reveals the hidden LCD display. It is a basic 4 digit display with two buttons on the back (one to shift between time, date, and seconds, and one for time setting).

There is no makers mark or other identifying features, but inside, the circuit board has the number WF103B. The watch takes a LR621 battery, but there is no other info.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Converse 1908 Watch

I've had a few footwear brands that have produced watches, and today it's the turn of Converse.

The Converse Rubber Company began making sports shoes in Boston in 1908. They are most famous for their high-top shoes which were first produced in 1917 and made famous when basketball player Chuck Taylor joined the company.

This model represents the high tops and is called 1908 (after the first trainers). It features a canvas band and rubbery surround on the case so the materials are like the trainers. The watch face also includes the text Converse Rubber Co 1908, and the crown has the converse star on the end. I don't know the release date, but I'd think that 2008 might be a good guess.

It is a 3 hand dial watch with a Japanese quartz movement. The numbers are moulded into the rubber surrounding the dial on a rounded square case.

This particular version is called VR021-080, and the watches came in all manner of colour combinations (including strap, face, case, and even seconds hand). The original sale price was around £60.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Fossil FSL Snake/Monster FL8880

It's been a while since my last Fossil watch, so I'm posting one today.

This model is a watch by the Fossil brand, and seems to be from a line called FSL. It has an interesting design with a scale-like texture, and curvy edges to the straps. The buckle fits into the snake or monster theme, and has two eyes the stare out from the plastic buckle.

This model has a two line LCD display (which is relatively unusual for a Fossil). The top line covers the date and day, with the bottom line showing the time (6 digits). Inbetween the two lines there is a bar of LCD blocks which fill from left to right over a 10 sec interval. Other modes are chronograph (7 digits), pace, timer, and alarm. The LCD display is also rotated slightly making it straighter on to your view when you glance at it.

The back reveals that the watch is 100m (330ft) water resistant, and has a model number of FL8880. Unusually, the middle of the back plate has a rubber disc on it with the Fossil FSL logo.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Casio Art Casual Compass PTM-26

After getting a few of these Art Casual watches, I've ended up collecting them too.

Not much has been found out about this range that was released by Casio. It seems like they were for the Far East market only, and look like they were released in the 1980s as a competitor to the Swatch watches.

This model is a 3 hand dial with a 705 module. The seconds hand is long and has a wavy pattern, with the other hands colour matching to the face. The face design looks like an old compass from a map. The strap fits in with this old ship theme having a sun with face on the top strap, and a sailing ship, anchor, and fish on the lower strap.

The full model number is PTM-26-3, and this watch was assembled in Malaysia. The strap part number is 206 F2.