Monday, 30 September 2013

Citizen Independent 1481010 Spawn Special Edition: Spawn

This watch is another of the special edition 1481010 watches that was released in the late 90s, and is the second of the 4 watches released in 1998 to commemorate the release of the 1997 movie from the comic book Spawn.

The 1481010 range is one of my favourites, and much more information can be found on my 1481010 summary page (link).

The Spawn comic was created by Todd McFarlane in 1992 and published by Image Comics, and in 1997 a movie came out loosely based on the origin of the Spawn character. The comic and movie revolve around a government assassin who is killed and offered a deal by the Devil to lead his army. Spawn eventually realizes his true purpose and fights both the forces of heaven and hell, along with various criminals.

This model is the Spawn version and is one of two D380 models that were released in the Spawn range. It features the Spawn logo on the button instead of the radioactive symbol, and the Spawn title above the display. The back also has an engraved version of McFarlane's signature on. As it has the standard D380 module, the watch has dual alarms and a chronograph mode, and the usual cured dot matrix display

The full model number is D380-L18692, and the catalogue number is IT21-4231G. It was originally released for 15,000 yen, and I think it was a limited edition of 5000.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Star Wars Millennium Falcon LCD Watch by WatchIt

I've blogged a few of the Star Wars LCD character watches, but today is the first fully boxed one.

This model is the Millennium Falcon version, and rather than be a flip top watch like the others, this one is just a moulded design. The head is shaped like the Millennium Falcon with a hole for the LCD display poking through the back of the ship. The strap of the watch features printed pictures of the two pilots Han Solo and Chewbacca along with their names (printed on both sides of a transparent strap).

The Millennium Falcon is a spacecraft from the Star Wars movie series. The ship is a modified YT-1300 light freighter and used for smuggling. Han boasts how fast the ship is bragging it made the Kessel Run in "less than 12 parsecs". The original design is inspired by a hamburger with the cockpit being an olive on the side.

The watch is part of a range called WatchIt, and seems to have come from a UK company called Toy Options Limited. It was released in 1997 and is copyright to Lucasfilm. The official licensee is to World Wide Licenses Ltd in Hong Kong who started as a licensing company but now work with digital imaging (and own the Polaroid name). Toy Options Limited  doesn't seem to exist anymore, and other companies were started using the same name in 2000.

As with the other Star Wars watches, it uses a simple 4 digit LCD display, with 3 modes (time, date, and seconds), using the 2 buttons.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Hi Tek Alexander - Spinning Robot Watch

Today's watch is one of the big metal watches from my collection.

It is my second watch from the Hi Tek watches range. The watches are also referred to as Hi Tek Alexander as the brand was started by the designer Alexander Tasou in the 1980s. The watches in the line are all aimed at men and women who want something edgy and futuristic. I don't know when this was released - there was a break between 2002 and 2007, but I don't know if this was before or after.

The watch has a very cyberpunk design. The solid metal strap is covered in small rivet designs, and the head is an unusual design with a deep set glass surrounded by metal 'teeth'  at the hour markers. It is a "3" hand dial which is two hands, and a rotating robot which looks like it is dancing.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Gallucci Skeleton Classic - Square Automatic with round window

Today's watch is one that I tried to get working, but my mechanical watch skills weren't quite enough. After stripping it down as much as I could, I found that the balance spring is broken, but I thought I'd blog the watch anyway. The balance system on the watch is made of a balance wheel attached to a balance spring. These two together form an oscillator which is designed to keep a precise beat (independent of external disturbances) and thus keeps the watch accurate. The balance spring pulls the wheel back, reversing it's direction, causing the oscillations and so when it's broken the watch can't tick.

The watch is by Gallucci, which is a jewellery company formed in 2002 and owned by Hong Kong watch manufacturer R and S International Limited.

This is an automatic mechanical skeleton watch, and is the second Gallucci watch of this type I've blogged (see 24th Dec 2012, or the Gallucci tag for the other).

This model is a large and heavy square design, with a face pattern that is no longer for sale. The watch is a 3-hand dial, with an additional 24 hr dial and date dial (at the 6 and 3 o'clock positions). The back has a glass panel over the movement so you can see the design of the internal workings (which are decorated with small engravings) as well as the weight used in the automatic movement to wind the watch. On the dial, there is also a round window where the other side of the movement can be seen (while the current models have square and rectangular windows).

There is no model number on the watch, and as it is not for sale, I don't know the date of release.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Zippo XPG 06

Today, it's a watch made for a company better known for their lighters (just like the Ronson watch i posted a while back).

The watch is a Zippo watch which I'm guessing is called an XPG 06 (judging by the text on the back which is next to the engraved Zippo name/logo). The Zippo brand is one of the most famous names in the lighter business, and there are many collectors of the various Zippo lighters that have been released over the years. The back says it was licensed by Zippo Manufacturing Ltd, but not who it was licensed to.

I guess that this watch may have been released in the 1980s from the start date on the start of the date setting in the module (1985), but the design and LCD display look like something much more modern.

The LCD display has a dual set-up with standard digits across the top for day and date, and a red pseudo dot matrix display below (as it is made up of dots, but only in the pattern of normal digits). The day letters also explain the mode as you cycle through, and the modes are alarm, dual time, stopwatch, and timer.

It is a very rugged watch design, with a large case, screw fastenings, rubber strap, and 10atm (100m) water resistance.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Knit-shock!! by The Mint House

When a couple of people saw I had this rather strange looking watch, they dared me to wear it when I had an important meeting at work - so I did :-)

The watch is called the Knit-shock!!, and is a woolen cased watch (unlike the completely wool "watch" i blogged last week).

It is made by Mint House in Japan (and was sold by Maker Shed in the US but is shown as discontinued, and distributed in Europe by ACG Fashion Ltd), and is a watch you design yourself. The Mint House is a craft company based in Japan which sells many different products and kits for making your own craft projects. Buying the Knit-shock!! watch gives a kit with yarn, strap, module, and a plastic mesh frame. Following the instructions, you make your design onto the mesh frame that the watch module then fits inside. The result is a personalised fabric pixel art style designed watch (-i bought mine already finished and it has a panda design). The marketing information says this was designed by a Mr Makoto, and is a new way of seeing things and expressing emotion.

The watch itself is a 4 digit LCD module, and just has the standard time, date, and seconds displays. The module is inside a plastic case, and you need to press something long and pointy into small holes to press the buttons (making it practically only show time). There is a big notice on the back of the watch exclaiming that this watch is not shock and water resistant.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Casio Multilingual Data Bank DB-360 Sierra Leone 2005 Entry Visa edition

Today is another mysterious watch. Actually, the watch itself is pretty normal, but it has been printed to commemorate an event that I can't find.

The watch is by Casio and is the DB-360. It is one of the high spec Casio Data Bank models, with many of the Casio features: Casio Illuminator, Multilingual Data Bank, and 10 year battery. It works in 13 languages which all appear European. The module inside is a 2515, and this gives it a 30 slot data bank, 5 alarms, stopwatch, timer, and dual time.

The display is an LCD panel with 3 lines. The time is in large digits (about half the total height) across the middle with the full date in tiny digits along the bottom. At the top is a dot matrix array which shows the day on the current mode.

I've featured a normal version of this model in a previous post. However, this model is a special edition marked with Sierra Leone 2005 Entry Visa on the back, along with the phrase "Capturing the moment. That's what life all about.". This is printed on the back over the normal engraved text making it look like an after fabrication mod to the standard watch. The strap is covered with a flowery pattern etched into the surface, and the top of the face has the number 232 marked into it (which is the same across all of the watches, not the limited edition number as I'd first thought). As far as I can tell, there were only events of note regarding entry visas and Sierra Leone the country in 2005, and there is just mention that this was the year that the UN peacekeeping force pulled out. The other option is that it is related to the Kanye West song Diamonds from Sierra Leone which was released in July 2005. This seems a more likely basis, but the entry visa text is still a mystery (and neither that or the phrase on the back are part of the lyrics).

Monday, 23 September 2013

Casio Baby-G BG-110 L.A. Version

A while ago, I posted about a series of G-Shock mini watches that came out in 1994 and were the forerunners to the Baby-G watch range. This watch is one of the early Baby-G models and is almost identical in design to the DW-610 model.

The model is the BG-110 and may have been part of a range called Tripper. It has a yellow body with purple trim and strap, and the letters L.A. at the bottom of the face (which I guess stands for Los Angeles and would fit in with the Tripper name). Apart for the colours, it has the same shape and face as the DW-610 and shares the Casio 1416  module.

The display is a 6 digit LCD with smaller seconds and a squashed first digit. Above the first and last digits in the time are two small pairs of digits showing the month and date, while in the middle is a small dot matrix panel with a letter G (which rotates every 10 sec). Pressing the light button shows an animation of a surfing stickman, the same as the DW-610, and this dot matrix array also shows letters for the different modes as you select them. Above all of these is a curved bar used in the timer mode which has sections for start, 5 minutes, and finish.

The modes included in this model are alarm, timer, and stopwatch.

I haven't found exactly when this model was released, but I guess it would be around 1995, early in the life of the Baby-G range.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cabane de Zucca Frozen Wani Orange

I don't know if today's watch is one that I've blogged before or not...

The reason is that there is no record of an orange version of this watch, so it's either and strange (and very even) discolouration of the other watch, or there was a special edition released in this colour.

Based on the style and the manufacturing date (1999), it appears to be a Frozen Wani watch by Cabane de Zucca. Normally, this watch is white/clear, however this one is completely orange. An orange version never appeared on the Zucca website, but this one has a very even colour around the whole strap and even in the inside, so it can't be sun fading. There is also no tobacco smell, so it doesn't seem like tar staining either. So it's a mystery.

The Cabane de Zucca watches are made by Seiko, and this collaboration has been running since 1995. The Frozen Wani came out in 1999 as a follow-up to the alligator watch from the 1998 Safari Zoo line.

It uses a Seiko W240 module and has stopwatch (with pace mode), timer, and alarm modes. The display is a two line LCD with day and date at the top and time below. The design looks like a small alligator which wraps around your wrist and eats it's own tail to fasten.

The full model number is W240-4120 which is the same as the normal Frozen Wani but also the original Safari Zoo alligator (so doesn't help determine if this is a separate model or not).

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Independent 1481010 Neophilia Jonathan Barnbrook + Beams Works D501

After discussing 1481010s yesterday, I thought I'd share another one today. And this one is one of the most limited release watches from the entire range. You can find out much more on the 1481010 range in my overview page (link).

At a glance, this looks like it has the same module as the 'shutter' D500 watches that I've blogged before. A closer look shows that the seconds shown in the middle of the LCD display have a curved look. Starting up the time display reveals the LCD digits which are all very stylised too. This is due to the special edition done for the Japanese clothing brand Beams with British designer Jonathan Barnbrook.

Beams is a clothing brand and department store established in Harajuku, Tokyo in the mid 70s, and have been involved in a few watch designs. Barnbrook is a designer who is most known for work with album covers (including David Bowie and Jamie Foxx), but is also a well known font designer, and this has been put to use in the watch. All of the text on the watch also has a special font. He is well known in Japan, having designed the logo and identity for Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

The watch has a special D501 module which is a variant on the D500 or D510 (link) with the new fonts. It is part of the Neophilia line within the 1481010s and this particular one seems to have been given the name Ignis. These watches match the 'shutter' LCD design with the resin surrounded metal straps from others in the range.

The display starts as a mirrored LCD with inverse seconds in the middle. The time display below is a standard LCD with 3 lines of two digits which is revealed on a button press (with an animation of the mirrored display opening like a shutter). This normally makes a beep unless you start the light first. This module gives the watch chronograph, alarm, and timer modes too.
It had a very limited release with only 200 being made (so is one of the rarest 1481010s). It came out in 2000, in the middle of the 1481010 era.
The full model number is D501-S92693.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Twin Sword Ana-Digi Watch

As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of the Citizen Independent 1481010 watches from the late 90s and early 00s. I've also taken this a bit further and collect watches who's design has been heavily inspired by the range and look surprising similar.
Today's watch is one of those which I thought looked like one of the 1481010 models. At this point, I was planning to link to the page where I've blogged one of these, but it appears I haven't blogged one yet... (I'll post an update here as soon as I do).
I'll carry on the story now, and it'll make more sense when you see the comparison with the 1481010 in one of the pictures below.
Initially, I thought this was identical in layout. But as the watch wasn't working, and the online photo wasn't very clear, I couldn't see the big difference - this watch is the other way up!
The watch is called Twin Sword and is an ana-digi model. At the top is a small 6 digit LCD display, and below is a 3 hand dial analogue display. The LCD panel is used for most of the modes, and the LCD can show time, date, alarm, or stopwatch.
There is no makers information on the watch, so I only know the watches name. Assuming this came after the 1481010, it would be from 1998 at the earliest.
Comparison of the Twin Sword against the similar (but other way up) 1481010 (on the left)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Car and Driver LCD W620 - Grey

Today is the second of my watches by Car and Driver (or C&D). It is a very mysterious brand, as it's normal name gets hidden inside the many other web hits.

My guess, based on the module number, is that these are manufactured by Seiko. Unfortunately, this watch has a module number of W620, however the display is different than the other W620 watch from  Alba (Seiko) that I've blogged before.

This watch has confirmed the date of the brand is late 90s, as the module date starts at 1995. This was made in 1997.

It has a 2 line inverse LCD display, but without the line of markers inbetween that the Alba W620 had. The top line has date and day while the larger lower line has a 6 digit time display (up to 7 digits in stopwatch mode). The modes are stopwatch, pace setting, timer, and alarm (which matches the Alba W620).

The design is such that the strap comes over the front of the case to the top and bottom edges of the LCD display, making the middle section look wide and thin. The strap is resin and has a wavy edge getting thinner and thicker along the strap length. The backlight button is on the front and comes through a hole in the strap. It has the Car and Driver name above the LCD and in a circle on the end of the long end of the strap (as well as engraved on the back). The design also has the chequered flag pattern common across all of the Car and Driver watches I've seen, giving a motor racing feel.

The catalogue number is AVAW003, and the full model number is W620-4220. The original sale price was 15,000 yen.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Nike ACG Alti-Gear Ambient Frozen WA0001 Ana-Digi watch

After careful consideration, I admit I am now a collector of the Nike watches too - they are interesting looking, and often quite high tech, so it seems reasonable...

Today's one is one of the high tech models, and falls under the Nike ACG line of products. The ACG line is the one that covers the more outdoor all-terrain sports, and are usually more rugged than the other sports models.

Various watches were released under the ACG name, and many are sensor watches (like this model).

This particular model comes under the ACG Alti-Gear line where there is a mix of styles of sensor watch. This one is an Ambient Frozen Regular series watch with a model number of WA0001. The colour variant appears to be the WA0001-002 but may be -005 (although this has a green ACG symbol not aquamarine).

I bought this one because I saw it had a temperature sensor, and I have a good few of those due to my Citizen Ana-Digi Temp collection. This  watch is not from that line, but does have an analogue and digital display too! The analogue display is a 3 hand dial with crown for adjusting.

The digital display is a 4 digit LCD panel and shows the rest of the functions (and text when you switch to the function). The display modes are time, date, temperature (in °F by default, but will show °C with a button press), temperature alarm, counter, timer, and normal alarm.

I don't have any date information as the back just has material, location of manufacture (China), and water resistance (50m).

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Adidas Altimeter Sports Watch 10-01 23

Today, it's another large and strange looking sports watch, and it probably is one of the largest and strangest of those I have.

The watch is by Adidas and seems to be one of the most unusual looking watches they produced. The case is large and round with a square LCD panel in the middle. So far, so normal (relatively).
The usual bit is the large stalks with buttons on the left side with a brown plastic surround. This, plus the giant size of the case, gives it a very distinctive look. As this is an Adidas watch, it couldn't be without the 3 stripes logo which is etched into the metal case above the LCD.

The LCD display is a hybrid of standard digits, dot based digits, and dot matrix. The middle line normally shows the time, but has the capability to show 6 digits (but not including the seconds which aren't displayed). The top line has a couple of dot based digits for letters (normally day) and up to 5 standard digits, 4 of which cover the date by default. The bottom line is the dot matrix (8 blocks of 5x7), which details mode and instructions.

This appears to be a sensor watch and can report altitude using air pressure (with the vent holes to the sensor on the back under the strap). It also has a stopwatch mode, and shows the altitude along with the time, so this watch may have been aimed at hill runners, climbers, skiiers etc. These lap times can see stored too. The only other function I've found is the alarm. Modes are changed by the long button on the right side.

The strap is a double fabric band with both a velcro and a clip fastening, so this definitely will not accidently fall off.

The back states the the material, and informs that this has a Hong Kong made module. There is a CE marking, and there is a code number of 10-01 23 and the letters KY.

I've never seen an Adidas watch like this one, and couldn't find it on an internet search, so it seems to be quite rare. I'd guess it's from the 2000s because of the CE mark and general appearance, but it could be earlier.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Green Invisible LED Watch

I've been over in the US for the last week, and so I thought I'd buy a watch over there as a momento of the trip. Today's watch is that one, and u thought it was unusual enough to fit in with the rest.

At first glance, this watch just looks like a green silicone band with a wider section on top of your wrist. Further examination reveals there are no visible buttons around the case, and the back is a bare light grey square.

The secret is that the button is on the front and hidden under the silicone cover. The button is in the middle at the bottom of the case, and if you miss that spot then nothing happens.

Pressing the button lights the 3 1/2digit LED display which shines through the case (unless the light where you are is too bright). The LED display starts with an animation lighting all of the LEDs (as 18:88) before showing the time. Further presses cycle through time, date, and seconds.

There is only 1 button, so setting involves holding down the button until the display flashes. Short presses then change the digit, and a long press moves on to the next one.

The watch label has the model code FAS-SQ-TCH, and calls it the "invisible LED - green". There is also the number 102409, on the label, but I don't know what that signifies.

The original rrp is $49, but you should be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Inazuma Eleven - Toramaru/Hooks

Today is the fourth (and currently final) of the watches from the anime series Inazuma 11.

Inazuma 11 is an anime and manga series, along with a couple of console games (3 for Nintendo DS, and one for Wii). It follows the story of a soccer mad boy called Mamoru Endō /Mark Evans and the Inazuma 11 team he builds back up.

As with the others, this is one of a series of LCD watches produced by Sega and made in China as a prize from a Sega toy machine. The watches were released towards the end of the series (based on the characters used), which had lasted for 127 episodes.

It has a basic 4 digit LCD module which is in a thin strip across the wide strap.

[spoiler alert]
Again, I need to put in spoilers in order to talk about the character.

This one is based on the character Utsunomiya Toramaru (or Austin Hooks) who was a forward playing at number 11. He started as a very shy first year who transferred to Raimon to join the team, and also helped his mother run her restaurant. He is a great fan of Gōenji/Blaze, and has a few major shots of his own.