Saturday, 31 August 2013

Casio ME-120 Matsuri Productions

I've been wearing another of the Casio Meta (possibly Meza)  range today, and yet again, it's a special collaboration model.

The ME or Meta range seem to have been a high tech sci-fi shiny metal range from sometime in the 90s. There isn't much easy info to be found online, but there were three versions the ME-100, ME-110, and today's ME-120 (specifically ME-120M).

The ME-120 looks very similar to the ME-110, and uses the same 1828 module. This model does however have a more square case and display surround. It also has the same flat looking square LCD panel with lines for day and date (top) , time (across the centre), and information (dot matrix array, bottom). The modes for this model are world time, multi time, 30 slot databank, alarm, and stopwatch. The metal strap is matched with the body and has the part number S718-L.

This model is a collaboration model with Matsuri Productions, and has their design on the back, clasp, and backlight. Matsuri Productions were a psychedelic trance record label from the UK. The label doesn't exist anymore, but was founded in 1994 by John Perloff and Tsuyoshi Suzuki (-one of the most famous DJs in the Japanese trance music scene).

Friday, 30 August 2013

Citizen Ana-Digi C480 Alarm Chronograph - Stripes

Today's watch is one of those that is difficult to work out an age. It looks very retro, but I'm sure they made them for quite a long time.

The watch by Citizen and is one of their Ana-Digi models. The styling are quite 80s, but we're some of the smarter and more refined designs of the time.

The main part of the display is the analogue dial, and is a 3 hand dial arrangement with crown setting. The LCD display is a single line below the dial and has 6 digits. The watches alarm and chronograph modes (as well as the date display) are on the LCD panel, and there are no other modes (but the Ana-Digi nature allows dual time).

It uses a C480 module, and has a full model number of C480-D01191. As mentioned at the start, I'm not sure on the age, but it looks like an 80s watch. If so, the serial number would suggest 1984, but it could easily be a 1994 watch instead, and the Trans Continents C480 I blogged before was from 2000, so even 2004 is a possibility.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Trans Continents C350 Square Watch

Today's watch is an unusual shape. It's much larger and squarer that  the display really needs.

The watch is one of the Citizen made watches for the Trans Continents fashion brand.

This model is based around the C350 module. From the pictures, you may notice a passing resemblance to the LCD layout of the C351 and C352 modules from the 1481010 range. It has an Ana-digi display with LCD sections across the top, the electronic analogue in the bottom left, and an LCD section for seconds blocks in the bottom right. The top display has the time with seconds above the 4 digit time display, and the mode indicator is to the left.

Mode-wise, the watch has dual alarms, chronograph, and timer features, and can technically do dual time between the LCD and dial.

It comes from 1998, and has a full model number of C350-Q01032.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Storm Enterprise

Space age metal watch time today. I'd planned to wear this a week or so ago, but accidently bent the clasp so I couldn't close it... But now the repairs are done!

The watch is by the London based designer watch brand Storm. They started in 1989 and are the only British fashion watch brand. Their watches normal have a distinctive metallic design, with a futuristic style.

It is called the Enterprise, and was released in 1996. It has a curved metal front with an almost aerodynamic feel. The face is angled towards the wearer so it acts almost like a drivers watch. Time is shown on a small 2 hand dial which has a domed glass. The crown is at the 6 o'clock position, and although it can be seen through a small hole in the front, it needs to be operated from behind.

The strap is a regular Storm design with a curved metal section from the edges of the case (with two grooves and a central raised section running the majority of the length), and Y shaped links fastened by a Storm branded clasp.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Woodstock & Snoopy Pop-up watch by Vega

I'm back wearing a cute kids watch again today, but it's old enough that the kids who had it when it was released would be adults now...

The watch is a yellow block which features the Peanuts characters Snoopy and Woodstock as moulded figures on the front. Japan is quite Snoopy mad, and has large Snoopy Town stores to sell all manner of Snoopy merchandise.

Also on the front is a little white button with a dogs paw print on. This button releases the pop-up module and the LCD display appears out of the top of the watch. The watch module is as normal for a novelty watch with 4 digit display and time, date, or seconds mode. For battery replacement, the module slides out of the side of the pop-up block. The instruction booklet also says you can remove the strap to use it as a clock, and you can also attach a chain to make a pendant.

The watch came in a Vega box and has the manufacturers name of Adec on the back. This means it was made by the Citizen owned Adec brand, and is part of the Vega range (as although there is no mention of Vega on the watch itself, the instruction booklet states it as Vega quartz). The module number is 4971 with a full model number of 4971-393953.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Citizen Independent 1481010 D295 Blue

It's another variation on the 1481010 range again today. The 1481010 range is the collection I have the most of, and a lot of information can be found on my Independent 1481010 overview page.

This model is one of the Independent 1481010 watches that uses the D295 module. The module has a square LCD panel which is behind a front plate that splits it into 3 rounded sections, and is housed in a round case . These models were usually in a silver case with different coloured front plates, and in this model, the text is also blue. The top section shows the time, while the bottom has the date and day. The middle section is where the mode marker is found, and the watch has dual alarms, dual time, a stopwatch, and a timer. The strap is made of metal sections which are bent into a shallow v shape.

This design of 1481010 came out in 1997 and was one of the first watches in the 1481010 range.

The full model number is D295-L16819. This model either never was in the catalogue, or it only appeared in the one of the two 1997 catalogues I don't have, but I have the details from one of the tags. The catalogue number was IT21-4062F, and it sold for 12,000 yen. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Ricoh Riquartz 1970s 811 module LCD watch

One of the problems of buying old watches is that sometimes, no matter what you do, the watch won't work. Unfortunately, today's watch is one of those, even though it looks completely unworn!

The watch is by the Japanese electronic and image company Ricoh. They made the Riquartz watches in the 70s and 80s, and this seems to be a sideline from their main office and camera businesses.

This model has a Riquartz 811 module compared to the 812 module of my previous Riquartz post. Judging by the printing on the inside of the back, it was made in June 1976. The module is one of the neatest and cleanest I've seen in a watch with virtually no circuitry visible.

The display is a 3 1/2 digit LCD with a pm marker. I don't know what modes it has, but judging by the age and lack of buttons (1 plus an inset setting button), I'd guess only time, date and seconds displays were possible.

Since the last post, it seems that the 6 digit number on the back is the model number, and there is no serial number. This watch's model number is 811003 and this is shown on the watch back and the tag (which makes me see it doesn't include the serial number).

The tag also shows it cost 27,800 yen which was very expensive at the time.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Citizen Cosmotron Special 7803 Calibre

In the 60s and 70s, Citizen produced two main lines of electronic watch. One was the tuning fork controlled HiSonic range (which I've blogged an example of previously), and the other was the Cosmotron range which today's watch is from.

The Cosmotron watches were a transistor controlled balance wheel movement design with started in 1966 (and was Japan's first electronic watch). This type of electronic watch became obsolete in the early 70s due to the start of the quartz revolution. The front dial has the text Citizen Electronic, and Cosmotron along with a lightning bolt symbol used for the Citizen Electronic watches.

The range is a 3 hand dial design, with a high beat seconds hand. This one is part of the 7800 movement range which were first released in 1972 (which is when I think my one is from). These models had a day and date at the 3 o'clock position, and worked at 36,000 beats per hour (double the speed of the first, Cosmotron). Setting the day or date is done by pressing in the crown, and which one changes depends on which way up you hold the watch (12 pointing up sets the date while holding upside down (6 pointing up) sets the day). I guess this is to allow easy synchronisation of the watch (to ensure correct time or to make sure multiple watches read the same).

After a bit of research, it seems this is actually a Cosmotron Special with a 7803 movement. This model can be identified by an additional button at the 8 o'clock position. When the button is pressed, it resets the seconds hand to zero (12 o'clock), and a long press holds the hand there until it is released. If the minutes hand is within +/-3 minutes of the hour, this is also set to 0.

This version also has a monocoque (one piece) case, so you need to remove the crystal to get to the movement. The battery is replaced through a coin opening battery compartment on the back, and there is also a screw opening cover to get to the balance adjustment screw.

The full model number is 7800-870115.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Citizen D298 Silver and Blue

This watch caused a lot of uncertainty when I first got one as it seems to have been often labelled wrongly. On many occasions, it has been reported as one of the Citizen Independent 1481010 models, and I've seen them sold second hand with a 1481010 tag or description. After much searching, I've never been able to find any official sheet confirming this, and it never appeared in the dealers catalogues as a 1481010, and doesn't say 1481010 on the case (as virtually every other model does). So I currently conclude that it is a separate model.

The watch is based around a Citizen D298 module (which has a similar layout, but slightly different digits than the D299 used in the Trans Continents and GSX watches I've blogged before).

The display is a blue inverse LCD display with 2 lines, but with curved text such the the digits get smaller towards the edges. The top line covers time, with the bottom showing date and day. It has dual alarms, dual time, a stopwatch, and a timer. The stopwatch mode has an icon of someone snowboarding or surfing, so although it is a shiny metal watch it'd suggest it was designed for sporting people. The front also has the text WR50 to show it is 50m water resistant (the back states 5 bar).

The full model number is D298-S72828, and the watch was made in 1999 (so it was in the same time frame as the 1481010 range).

Thursday, 22 August 2013

RCW Radio Controlled Watch

Today's watch is a hard one to find anything about as the model name is the abbreviation used for its main feature.

The watch seems to be by/called RCW, but there is no record of them as a manufacturer. It is a Japanese radio controlled watch which works on the Japan Standard Time Frequency.

It has a dual colour LCD display with red and black text. The main time display is across the centre and has a pseudo dot matrix look - the numbers are made up of small blocks, but the blocks are only in the layout of a normal figure 8 pattern digit. Along the bottom are another 5 1/2 digits for date and seconds (or time during the other functions). The top red LCD part is a dot matrix array (3 groups of 5x6) for the day, or mode description.

The watch has a standard set of stopwatch, alarm, timer, and dual time functions, and is a rugged looking model.
On the back,  it mentions the watch is 10 bar water resistant and gives the model number as FI-22064.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Seiko AKA Chronograph V657 Black and Green

As well as collecting the Citizen Independent 1481010 watches, I also have quite a lot of their rivals (or forerunners).

Today's watch is from the Seiko (Alba) AKA watches. These models came out in the mid 90s and were targeted at the young and fashionable, and there were many different styles and colour variations.

This model is another of the Chronograph models with a V657 module (-I've blogged one of these in a different colour before). The module was used for watches in a few different ranges, including the Seiko Wired watches (which I've also blogged before). The dial layout and function is also very similar to the GSX Smart Style watches. There is also a date marker at the 3 o'clock position.

The watch has one main 3 hand dial for time, and three smaller dials for the chronograph. The smaller dials are placed at the 6, 9, and 12 o'clock positions, and cover minutes (left), seconds (bottom), and 1/10 sec (top, with 2 seconds per rotation). The main hand is operated with the crown, but the chronograph ones are electronic dials.

Many of the AKA watches have a metal strap with cutout sections, and this one has a part number of F0M0AZ-E.

This particular watch was made in 1996, and has a full model number of V657-6030. The chronograph was one of the most expensive AKA models out at that time with a cost of 15,000 yen. The catalogue number for this variation was AMAS001.

If you need to reset the smaller dials (if they have not returned to zero), you can do this by pulling out the crown to get not setting mode, and then pressing the top or bottom button. I don't know how to reset the minutes dial though.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

DiP:U Silver and Black Robot Watch

I have a lot of robot watches in my collection, and not all of them are transforming ones.

Today's robot is called DiP:U and is an analogue robot watch. It has a 3 hand dial with a Japanese quartz movement. The seconds hand isn't actually a hand, but a rotating cog. With this not being a transformer, it looks like there is a robot sitting on your wrist. The arms are loose, so there is a strange feeling as you move your arms and the robot hits you with its swinging arms. The crown is at the top of the watch, and is made to look like part of the robots head.

The robot can be released from the strap to make a robot clock. Turning 1/8th of a turn to the left (anticlockwise) releases the watch from the holder, and is replaced by matching the clips on the back with the gap, and rotating back. There is also a loop on the top of the robot, so it can be used as a pendant or connected to a keyring too.

The back of the watch reveals the battery type (SR626SW), and has either a design, module, or model number = No. 4575.

This design of watch is pretty common on the online auctions, but I bought mine directly from the Japanese department store Tokyu Hands. The Tokyu Hands stores started as a DIY store, but is an amazing place to visit as it seems to sell everything (including the kitchen sink). They have a range of watches for sale, along with watch parts and repair tools, so it's hard to leave with money in your wallet!

Monday, 19 August 2013

EleeNo Stocking ART006

It's been a long time since I posted a SeaHope watch, so as I recently found one in a box, I thought I'd share it today.

This is another example of the EleeNo range of hand-less time pieces. This brand specialises in releasing unusual watches with one thing in common - the lack of a traditional hand. They are one of many lines under the Japanese SeaHope brand (which you can read about in my SeaHope overview page).

This model is one of the EleeNo Lite range, and is called Stocking. This is due to the way the design looks like a fine mesh of fibre like in a pair of stockings. The time is displayed using two discs, each with a set of concentric rings that are offset to point to the time. The rings are slightly different, with the smallest circle on the hour hand being slightly closer to the centre.

The model number for this design is ART006NLT

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Casio Phys Walking & Calorie STR-400

I was out doing an annual walk to raise money for a local sports association today, and managed to find a walking watch.

The watch is another by Casio and is called the Walking & Calorie watch. It seems to be under a one called Phys which I've not come across before, but I'd guess it was a line of specialist sports watches. The watch has a model number of STR-400J and was a Japanese model for walkers.

The special feature is that it has a walking pace function. When you start the timer, the watch starts counting steps, not movement based, but based on the pace you set (which you can have silent or marked with beeps). Based on the steps, the watch calculates the total  distance and calories burned (-my walk was just over 10,000 steps, 6.5km and I burned 187.4 calories in case anyone is interested). The watch stores this data and gives you the information for the past week too. Other functions are the standard stopwatch, and 5 alarms which are vibrating alarms too (the Vib Alarm in Casio speak) .

It has a large easy to read LCD screen, with the time (in large digits) across the centre. There is another 4 digit display at the bottom which shows the date (or has other functions such as time display during other modes). At the top is a small dot matrix array showing the day and which mode you are in, or what is being shown (e.g kcal, km, min, etc.), and shows information in Japanese as well as English for some of the items.

The full model number is STR-400J-1JF, and originally sold some time in the 2000s for 10,000 yen. It is still available from the Casio site now (Aug 2013).

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Swatch x Kidrobot Kozic Ski Instructor Tennis Pro Set

Another of the watches from the collaboration between Swatch and Kidrobot today, and I'm wearing it because of another concert link!

In 2011, the Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch released a set of watches with collectable toy designers Kidrobot. Eight watches were released, each designed by a highly respected illustrator, and they were accompanied by a matching Dunny vinyl toy. The watches were sold individually, or in a limited edition box set (with a giant Frank Kozic designed Dunny). An additional limited edition model was released in what was called the Tennis Pro set. This set had a white variation on the Ski Instructor watch from the collection, and also featured an 8" Kozic designed Dunny .

Frank Kozic is a Spanish artist who originally made his name making silk screened posters for 90s rock bands. His design features a Dunny with a big curvy moustache and a K on its forehead.

The mmoustache is the link with tonight's band. I'll be watching a concert by Postwerk who are a band which mix german electronica in the style of Kraftverk with fun music about things such as the postal service, and they all have crazy large moustaches! 

The Tennis Pro model has a special model number of GZS49, and gives the owner a 1 year membership of the Swatch Club. It was released as part of the Autumn Winter 2011 collection.

As with this design of Swatch, it is a basic 3 hand dial with a plastic case, and a coin opening battery compartment. This version has a clear case so you can clearly see the mechanism inside.