Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mighty Atom LCD watch

Watches made for TV series, characters, or films come in all manner of different styles and qualities.

This is a watch for the character Mighty Atom (or Tetsuwan Atomu) who is better known in the West as Astro Boy. This is the third Astro Boy watch, but is at the other end of the scale from the previous watches which were a Seiko AirPro and an GSX limited edition. The Astro Boy /Mighty Atom story is about a scientist who builds a robot boy as a replacement by a Dr Tenma for his son who was killed in an accident. When he realised the robot could never be human, he was given to a circus but rescued by a Prof Ochanomizu and ended up using his power to help fight crime, injustice, and other threats to humanity. The cartoon was created in a Japanese manga in1952 by Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the God of Manga.

This watch is a simple LCD watch for Mighty Atom with a 4 digit LCD, and the usual time, date, and seconds displays. It is a little temperamental so I couldn't get the display to stay on for the post. Around the LCD window is a hologram style sticker with a picture of Mighty Atom, his name, and the copyright to Tezuka Productions.

To get to the insides, you need to take off to tabs from the top and bottom of the case, and then the glass can be removed and the module lifted out. There is no way in from the back which is solid plastic, and only reveals this was made in China.

I'd guess that this was an 80s watch from the styling of the graphics, but is could a a cheap later model instead.

As an extra bonus - The background that the watch is sat on in the pictures is an original drawing used in some of the frames of the Anime.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Citizen Crystron 7100

Today's watch is an example of the quartz dial version of a watch line I've only blogged an LCD watch from before.

In the early 1970s, Citizen Watch Co. released a line of quartz watches under the Crystron name. I guess that the name came from them containing a quartz Crystal and being elecTronic.

The watches came in a range of designs with several different movements being used in the range. This one is a 3 hand dial design with both a day and a date marker at the 3 o'clock position. It has a white dial with markers and not numbers, and has the Citizen CQ symbol on the bottom of the dial.

Based on the number on the front, it suggests a  model 7100 module, although on the module itself it has 7300C, 280-18, and TW02. From these the 7100 and 7300C fit the Citizen numbering convention, but I can't be sure which (although my guess would be 7300). The serial number would indicate a 1979 date, but it may possibly be 1969. The model number is either 7100-711685 or 4-730771 with the old Citizens having numbers in both styles.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Body Max by Kansai Yamamoto - large LCD

I've concluded that the Body Max watches are full of strange contradictions. They are designed by a famous fashion designer but they feel quite cheap, and their designer is known for his outrageous designs (such as David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust phase) but the watches are pretty plain and normal.

The full title of the range is Body Max designed by Kansai Yamamoto. The designer Kansai Yamamoto is very famous in Japan, especially known for eyewear, and has designed the train from Tokyo to the main airport. The Body Max range encompasses hats and coats as well as the watches, and all of the watches I've seen so far have a sporty feel.

This model is an LCD model which looks like it could be complicated, but is really very simple. It has a large 4 digit LCD display in the centre of the round face, surrounded by the brand name. The bezel around the display has a cog-like design, and the way the button information is printed, it looks like you should turn the cog to activate the indicated option. In reality, the cog design is just for show and it's the buttons on the side which activate the actions. It has a very simple module which only has time, date, and seconds displays.

As mentioned on my earlier Body Max post, there is mention online that the watches were from the 90s or 2000s, and I think that sounds reasonable.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Storm Obligator

Today's watch is quite a big model from the brand which started my collection, and is a different style from the others I've covered so far.
That of course means it is by Storm of London, and this model is called the Obligator. I've posted quite a few watches from the British fashion brand Storm now, ranging from their beginning in 1989 through to their more modern designs.
The Obligator is a large watch, but is still pretty light and comfortable to wear. Its base is a large slab of titanium (approx 4cm by 5cm) with a curved back and angled front, and this is where the brown padded and shaped leather strap is connected. On the left side are two small round inserts, one of which is a little floating compass, and the other is a little thermometer dial. The watch module is a square block with rounded corners which is mounted on the right side of the base and connected with screws from the back.
It has an ana-digi design with a 3 hand dial and two rectangular LCD panels. The top panel normally shows the time and has a 6 digit display (with the seconds a tiny bit smaller than the others). The bottom panel also has 6 digits and shows the date and day. The different modes are shown on a combination of the two LCD panels and are day counter (to determine the number of days from/to a particular date), alarm, and stopwatch. The modes are switched with the top left button, with the bottom two buttons used in the different modes.
The back of the watch has the model name and shows this is a titanium case with 50m water resistance and contains a Japanese movement. There are also two numbers, one I think is the serial number, and the other is TC.N4.
The date for this watch is a little confused as the module date starts in 1997 which suggests late-90s, however I've found magazine adverts for this model online which are quoted as being from 2005. As the module only suggests the earliest possible date, I'd guess that this is an early to mid 2000s watch (Update: the Storm site confirms this is a 2004 release). I think it was one of Storm's more expensive models when it came out, and I've seen suggestions of an original retail price of around $350.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Head Porter Plus military watch

It seems that a lot of the Japanese fashion brands at some point regale released a watch as a magazine cover item. Today's watch is another of those.

Like the A Bathing Ape watch I blogged earlier this month, this watch was also issued as a limited release on the front of Smart magazine. Smart magazine is a Japanese fashion magazine which caters for youth fashion and seems to be a monthly release. This watch came out on a 2013 issue (sometime earlier than September) and is not for sale on its own.
The watch is a military style watch by the clothing line Head Porter Plus. Head Porter is a Japanese fashion brand which was established in July 1998. It is manufactured by Yoshida Kaban which is a Tokyo based manufacturing company started in 1935 and recognised for its high quality bags and accessories, and best known for its Porter brand. The Head Porter brand is a private brand designed by Hiroshi Fujusawa, which uses Yoshida Kaban as a manufacturing partner. It only has 3 shops - the flagship store in Harajuku, Tokyo, and shops in Osaka and Kyoto.

The watch is a 3 hand dial design with clear to read white hands and time markers. It has a plain black case and camo green fabric strap helping to give the military style. The dial shows the Head Porter Plus name and has a red + sign below the 12 o'clock marker. The back is completely blank, so there is no other information on the watch.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Charles Vögele gold quartz CV-7331

Today I was at an exhibition with lots of people in suits, so I chose something smart and simple.

This is my second watch by Charles Vögele and is quite a plain watch compared to what I normally wear.

Charles Vögele is an unusual designer as he started as a racing driver in the 1950s. Him and his wife started the clothing company in 1955 with motorcycle clothing, but now produces a range of high and low fashion items. The company is Swiss based and has stores across Europe, and it seems the watch arm is Far East based.

This is the CV-7331 which is a very thin gold coloured quartz watch. It is a 2 hand dial design with a Japanese Morioka Tokei VX50D quartz movement. It has a custom silver and gold metal strap which matches to the case.

I haven't worked out when these watches were from as they don't appear online, so it could be anytime from the 80s through to the 2000s.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Fossil FSL Cyclops FL 8862

I'm back with the Fossil watches again today, and I'm wearing one from their more sporty lines of watches.

The FSL range by Fossil were a set of watches with a more sporty plastic feel than the regular Fossil watches of the time (like the Big Tic). It seems that they came out in the late 90s (as the date for the module begins with 1995), and so fall into the 'late 90s black hole of missing information' (-regular readers will have noticed that there is a severe lack of online information for a lot of different watches released in the late 90s).

This model is the FL 8862, and may have been one of several models with the name Cyclops, which would be appropriate as the display does look like a single large eye. In the 'eye' is a two line inverse LCD display with 6 digits plus the am/pm marker on the main line (which makes up a 7th digit when needed). Above is the day and date, with 10 blocks which fill up with the seconds sitting inbetween. At the very bottom of the LCD is a mode marker with the LCD behind the selected mode turning blank so you can see the black text. For the modes, this has the regular alarm, chronograph, and timer, along with a pace function. Below the LCD is a big black FSL logo which activates the el-backlight (which has quite a loud buzz when on).

The back has the usual FSL black rubber disc with the FSL logo on, and gives the 100m /330ft water resistance info along with the model number. The label that came with the watch also reveals that the watch was cased in China and has a Chinese made strap.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Rubicon Kids SIL-881

Today I was spending time with a couple of children, so wanted a kid friendly watch.

The one I chose is another from the Rubicon watch range, but different than the other Rubicons I've blogged so far.

This is a Rubicon Kids watch, and as it says 'kids' on the back where the name normally is, the name may actually be called kids. It has a model number of SIL-881 on the back, along with the usual catchphrase 'The great trick timepiece'. The Rubicon watches are made by Yazaki Co Ltd. from Japan, and the trademark is pretty recent, but I haven't found out much more.

It is a 2 hand dial watch with the seconds having a rotating disc. The seconds indicator is a little weird and looks like a 4 legged squid wearing a helmet.

The strap is a moulded rubbery plastic one with crocodiles. On the strap, the crocodiles are either dreaming of fishes, or chasing after the fish.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Future Electronvolt MV2034

When I spotted today's watch, it confused me quite a bit. It looked exactly like one of the Independent 1481010 watches, but didn't appear to have that name on. As I thought it might have been a special edition I'd not seen before, I bought it. But on receipt it appears to be an almost identical design (even the strap), but with no actual connection to the 1481010s.
This watch is called Future, and on the back it says it was produced by Time Reverse. The model has a full title if Future Electronvolt Digital Model which I've see  used for this type of analogue watch with a 'digital' style display (rotating disc). The back also has two numbers MV 2034 and SR 626, this first I think is the model number, and the second is the battery type. As usual with these watches, I can't find anything online about it!
The design is just like the 6038 module rotating disc models from the 1481010 range. It has a rounded rectangular case with the same shape glass. There is a shiny circle at the centre, and to the left of that is where you read the 3 rotating dials. The strap is a stainless steel link design, with the first couple of sections at each side having a slight v-shape.
As the design is so similar to the 6038 watch, I would guess that the date will be the same at the late 90s.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Swatch Time Slider YSS148HA/HB

I'm blogging another Swatch today, but not a 90s model for a change, although this only missed by a couple of years.

This Swatch is called the Time Slider and was designed in 2001. It was then released as part of the 2002 Fall Winter collection in two versions with a model number of YSS148HA or HB. The difference between the versions was the size of the strap which was either the Small (HB) for 16cm wrists or Large (HA) for 17.5cm wrists.

It is a two hand dial design with very small arrows for the hands peeking out from behind a silver circle in the centre of the dial. The case is one of the small ladies cases, but mounted into a solid clear perspex mount surrounded by metal plate. The front plate sits in front of the dial and slides out of the way (to the right) to reveal the time. The rest of the strap is also clear perspex with a metal  connecting section at the back. To open the strap you press the two buttons on the side of the strap above the face, and the front section opens up.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

o.d.m Unequivocal ST43

I'm wearing quite a plain watch again today, but it is by the o.d.m brand.

ODM or o.d.m is a Hong Kong based brand with a name that stands for Original, Dynamic and Minimal. They began in 1999 and make watches for a range of different tastes.

This model is called Unequivocal and is aimed at the more smart executive style of customer. It has a model number of ST43, but there are also ST44 versions also called Unequivocal.

The watch is a 2 hand dial, but with a seconds hand in a second dial below the centre. There is also a tiny date window at the 3 o'clock position, which you need to look closely at to be able to read. It has a very simple and uncluttered design with a brushed steel case and silvery white dial. The dial also doesn't have much clutter with only small time markers and a silver o.d.m name. It has a 10 bar/100m water resistance.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Zippo ZPW001

Today it's another watch by a manufacturer more famous for something other than watches.

The watch is made by (or for)  the well known lighter brand Zippo. The Zippo lighters are famous worldwide, and one of the most recognised lighters I know. Many people are collectors of Zippos, but I've not come across so many collectors of Zippo watches.

This model is the ZPW001, which from the model number could be one of their first. It is a 3 hand dial design and has a styling a little like some of the G-Shock dial designs. The case was assembled in China, and has a 10 bar water resistance rating.

For the date, I'd assumed that the previous Zippo I'd blogged was late 80s or early 90s, and this watch seems an older style. That could also be misleading, so I'd guess this is also a late 80s or early 90s release.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Boy London BOY-31-W sunrise and waves

Today, I'm blogging a watch that based on model number that has become familiar in my collection.

The watch is by the brand Boy London, and the model number is BOY-31-W. What is seems is that there are a lot of different BOY-31-W watches by Boy London which have the same basic style, but a different picture. This version has a case similar to the BOY-300 I've blogged before, but with just a silver case with black details. The case has the Boy London name on the bottom left with their eagle design above the 12 o'clock position. It is a 3 hand dial design with black hands against a cream marble textured face. The design on this version is a pattern which looks like a silver sun rising over a curving wave, with a 60s style font BOY below. There are also stars instead of some of the numbers leaving only the 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 with another of the Eagles at the 12 o'clock position. The strap is black leather with a red section closest to the case and has the Boy London name and a couple of studs.

On this model, there is only the Boy London name and the model number in the middle of the back and it doesn't have all of the other information seen on some of the Boy watches. This could mean it is either a reproduction, or it is an earlier design.

For the date, it seem like the watches were popular in the mid-90s. This is strange as it is supposedly when the brand was in hiatus, but it fits with the dates on some of the watches and original guarantees. From this, I guess that the name was used by a Japanese brand during this time (based on where they are mainly found), either under license or without any interference (as the name wasn't being used officially).

Monday, 18 August 2014

Citizen Vagary GD00

Today, I'm using one of my mysterious Vagary watches again.

The Vagary line of watches are made my Citizen, and are a bit of a mysterious line. Most of the models in this line I've seen in Japan, but there is no Japanese website. Instead, the website is in Italy, and at the bottom of that page is a  note saying Vagary is a trademark of Citizen Watch Italy SpA. Whether this means it is an Italian line, or just that the trademark is held in every country they operate in, I can't say, but it adds a bit more mystery to an already mysterious line. The Vagary watches themselves tend to me a bit different than the regular Citizen lines, and often feature unusual designs or bright colours.

This model is based around a GD00 module and is a quartz dial watch. It has a 3 hand dial in a rounded square case, and a few unusual design elements. The date window is at the 11 o'clock position, which I think is a first for the watches I've blogged, and the crown is at the 2 o'clock position. There is also a 24 hr dial, but this is in the bottom corner and is a retrograde /jump-back design which is also pretty unusual. It isn't the brightest coloured watch they make, but the shiny green and brown combination is different. The strap is a browny creamy leather design with a green felt back, and the buckle has a tiny Vagary V logo.

I've not found this model in any catalogues, but based on the serial number it appears to be from 2005 (or possibly 1995 but I think this is less likely). The full model number is GD00-S030382.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Da Vanci by Piro steampunk style watch

Today it's a metal watch which looks like it should be something from a steampunk movie.

The watch seems to be called Da Vanci, and there is something imprinted in the case saying what looks like "by Piro", but it could be Pico as the font is hard to read. These names don't give anything in the Web searches I've tried, so this is yet another mystery model.

The watch has a very metallic clockwork look, but it is really a quartz watch with a 3 hand dial. All of the cogs attached to the case and printed on the dial are for show except for two. To the left of the dial is a bronze coloured cog which has the date numbers on, and at the bottom is another smaller cog with the days. Both of those are hand turned so are just for indication and do not change automatically. It comes with a metal strap  which has black and silver alternating stripe pattern.

I've had this watch for a while, so I think it came from the 90s or earlier, but I've no concrete information.