Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Boy London Black & White Fashion Shock

The more Boy London watches I've seen, the more confused I'm getting about them. There are among different styles and designs, which is fine and understandable, but it's the different information on the back which is more strange. Some of that I can rationalise by the different eras of watches, but others either have incorrect statements, or like todays watch, nothing at all!

The brand itself is a bit of an enigma. It was created in the 70s by Stephanie Raynor with a base at 153 Kings Road, London. It took a break in the 80s and 90s (but was a very popular second hand purchase), before reappearing in 2007. Most of the watches I've seen seem to be from the 80s, 90s, or early 00s, so correspond exactly with the break in the main brand.

The watch is a typical 3 hand design quartz watch. This model has a bit of a different design from the others I've blogged so far. It has a black and white painted face with a mixture of symbols and words on - a sun, a Union Jack, the Boy London stickman, a target, the Boy London name, and the words Fashion Shock. It also has the number 2000 which I'm going to assume is the date for this model. The painted face is normal for the brand, but the case is a round moulded design with various shapes protruding, including the Boy London eagle symbol, circles and triangles, parts of the letters for Boy London, and the icon for male (a circle with an arrow sticking out). The strap is a two tone leather design with the brown section connected to the black part with a stud. The brown parts of the strap also have the Boy London name and the stickman logo.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Benetton by Bulova - yellow roses

It seems like I've now become a collector of another line of watches - the Benetton watches by Bulova.

The Benetton by Bulova range seems to have started in the very early 90s and produced many different designs over the years. Many of the watches have the same style with a round case with the Benetton logo on the bottom of the bezel, and a decorated face.

The Benetton group was started by the Benetton family in 1965. Their United Colors of Benetton line is one of the more well known lines and normally contained very colourful designs. Bulova are a US based brand making luxury clocks and watches. They were founded in 1875 in New York, and started a dedicated factory in Switzerland in 1912, (leading to a debate as to whether they are an American company or not, but it was founded in the USA). Since 2007 the brand has been part of the Citizen Watch Co family, who they had been working with since 1958.

This model is a 3 hand dial design, and has a purple face with a picture of 2 yellow roses on. Rather than the more unusual silver case, this model has a black case with a green Benetton logo, and has a matching black leather strap. Om the back is the usual Benetton by Bulova stamp as well as a sticker saying this is made in Hong Kong.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Phasar Ana-Digi 5070

Today, I'm blogging a watch which unfortunately I've not got working, but as I'm a fan of ana-digi watches, I thought I'd cover this one too.

The watch is branded Phasar, and from what I've seen online, this is a brand which was distributed by the American Sears department store chain. Sears, Roebuck & Company was founded in 1893 as a mail order catalogue which branched out into department stores in 1925. Many Phasar watches can be found at online auctions, and their styles suggest the line was active from at least the mid 70s onwards.

This model has a model number of 5070 and is an ana-digi design with the LCD at the top and a dial underneath. It is an alarm chronograph with those modes showing on the LCD display. As the module has ceased to work, I can't confirm whether there are any other modes (such as timer).

The analogue part is a 3 hand dial and states the watch is water resistant with a quartz movement.

Inside is one single module to control both the analogue and digital parts, but there is no makers name on the module (at least not on the surface).

For this watch, the design is very 80s and so I think it is that old. The only other date hint is someone has written a date inside (1996) which is when I assume they last changed the battery.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tissot C263 quartz watch

Today, it's a Swiss watch for a change with another model by Tissot.

This watch seems to be a model C263 and has this number on the back and at the bottom of the dial. It has 3 hands, but they are arranged in a 2 hand main dial with a small seconds hand dial in the bottom half. It has a slim case in gold colour with only a thin bezel around the dial. The dial itself is very uncluttered with a white face and simple gold hour markers. The only other things on the face are the Tissot name, and the text "C 263 Swiss".

Tissot is a Swiss watch manufacturer which started as a family business in 1853. They have become well known as a luxury brand, and have had many firsts over the years.

This model looks like it is one of their earlier quartz models, and that would suggest a 70s or 80s date, but that is just an educated guess.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Storm Digiplex Blue

As regular readers know, I'm a fan of the Storm watch brand. Most of my Storm watches are the vintage models from the 80s and 90s, but do I like the new models too.

Today's Storm is a modern model, and is still for sale on the Storm website. It's called the Digiplex and is a very large rugged LCD watch, with an industrial styling (at least in shape, but being light blue isn't so industrial). In the centre of the large plastic case is a round window where the LCD lies. The LCD is a 4 line design to make the most of the round shape. The top line is just 3 digits and covers the day or the mode. Below that is a 4 digit line for the date or more text info (such as "lap"). Next is the largest line with the time (4 digits), and at the bottom are the seconds. It is designed to be a multifunction sports watch and has the normal  modes for those needs: alarm (x5), stopwatch (with lap memory), and countdown timer. It also has 50m water resistance and an el-backlight. The strap is a silicone/rubber design for comfort and flexibility, with a metal fastener, and needs to be cut down to size if too large (so it's worth checking the size if you buy one second hand).

This is the blue model, but the watch also comes in black, white, red, and green. The original rrp was $150.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Kahuna S23 watch

The Kahuna brand is one I've been aware of for some time, but it turns out to be more mysterious than I'd expected.

The Kahuna watches I can find now seem to be from a British brand (not Hawaiian as the name would suggest) which seems to be owned by the Peers Hardy Group Ltd. The group are a specialist watch, clock, and jewellery manufacturer  who own a whole range of brands including Ice Watch and Cross. This all seems straightforward, but for that brand, there is no logo on the site which matches the logo on the watch (a wave in an oval), and the font used on the watch face is different now. The watch also refers to a website address of kahunaextreme.com, but that doesn't exist anymore (without even a redirect). As there was one watch shop which linked this logo with the brand, I'm going to assume it is the same company, and they just had a major redesign at some point in the brands life.

The name Kahuna is a Hawaiian word and means expert, but there are both craft uses (expert makers) as well as for sorcerers (which was an illegal practice). It became linked to surfing with a movie where The Big Kahuna was the leader of a group of surfers, and I'm sure that'll be where the surf brand got the idea.

The watch has a model number of S23 and is a an analogue metal watch. It has a 3 hand dial design with date at the 3 o'clock position, and there is a rotating bezel. It has a heavy steel case (with the Kahuna name at the top) and is 10 atm water resistant (which helps confirm this is not American or for the American market as they would then use bar not atm).

Age-wise, I guess this is a 90s, or early 00s design because it is a different style to the current brand and there is little online info on watches with this logo version.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Franc rounded square watch

Earlier this year, I blogged a watch by a brand called Franc, and here is another I've found.

The Franc brand is another of my mystery brands which seem to be quite anonymous online. The logo is the Franc name with a circle in the F, and very rounded text.

The design of this watch is quite familiar too, as it is the same type of watch as the Rubicon watch called John (which was one of the first watches on the blog in Jan 2012). It has a brown rectangular case with a transparent bezel and rounded corners. The display is a two line LCD with fancy digits (each has 17 segments). The top line has 6/7 digits and is for the day and date, and the bottom line is the time (6 digits with smaller seconds). It has a couple of modes in the module, which are alarm and stopwatch, and there is also an el-backlight.

I'm not sure when the watches are from, but as this is the same as the Rubicon model which is a modern watch, I'd guess this is the same age (early 2010s).

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Casio AQ-305 round ana-digi

I have quite a liking for the ana-digi style of watches, and today is another.

This watch is the AQ-305 by Casio, and is an ana-digi model with a round case. It seems to be quite a rare model as there are very few hits and photos online, so there isn't much info about.

The watch has a 3 hand dial and a curved LCD with 6 small digits at the bottom of the face. There are 2 buttons for the digital display, and the crown controls the analogue part. Inside is a 388 module which has been seen before on this blog in the RKA-508 Adventure Club Rookie. It gives the digital display time, date, alarm, dual time, and stopwatch options. As the analogue dial is not linked to the LCD, it actually means this is a triple time watch I'd you really wanted to.

On the dial of the watch is another model number of 701A2-093 which I think might be the specific model variation. There is no date information on the watch, but I think this is a 90s model.

The case is light, so I think it is base metal with a stainless steel back. It has a metal Casio strap with a part number of S-087N.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Cardini Quartz watch

Today's post might be a shorter one than normal. I chose the watch to be part of my collection because of its bright colours, but it's another mystery model.

The watch is by Cardini, and there seem to be quite a few for sale but very little information online. I found one link about this brand (rather than Carlo Cardini or Luis Cardini who were also watch brands), stating that the Cardini designers mention that “Time is the eternal component of the universe, why we shouldn’t have such decent accessory that will reflect this great and mysterious secret?". Unfortunately, when you go to the "official" website for the brand cardinitimepieces.com, it now seems to be a blog site for a single nurse called Emi, so I'd guess that the brand is no more.

There is no other information on the watch apart from it has a Japanese quartz movement.

The watch itself is a simple 3 hand dial design with a shiny green face and red and green hour and minute markers in geometric shapes. The strap is very busy with a colourful woven fabric cover on a black leather strap. The fabric has all manner of geometric patterns too, but there is a black leather strap over the holes for a bit of protection.

From the colour scheme and design, it looks very 80s to me, so that is my guess at its age (but it is purely a guess).

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Citizen 6501 movement

Today's watch is one of my older watches, being older than me!

This is a Citizen automatic watch from the 1970s, and one of the more expensive watches from the era (behind the HiSonic).

It is a 3 hand dial design with a day and date at the 3 o'clock position. The glass is cut in a way to give a flat square in the middle and a cross shape across the face. The case is heavy stainless steel design with a matching steel strap.

The movement is a 6501 which is a 21 jewel automatic movement which Citizen released in 1971. The 6501 movement is one of the Citizen sweep hand designs and runs at 21,600 beats per hour. Online discussions suggest that the 6xxx movements were among the last of the Citizen pre-quartz automatic movements, but the 6501 wasn't produced for very long as Citizen focused on other movements. 

This particular model has a number on the back of 4-651979 and on the face is the number 655505. I'm not sure why the numbers differ between the face and back, but many of the models I've seen are that way, and so I don't know which is actually the model number. The 65xx models had a sale price between ¥14,500 and ¥38,000, but I don't know which end of the scale this is from.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

o.d.m Mr Metallic MDD99B with Chat Box

Today, it's another watch from the odm brand, and this time it's a programmable model.

ODM (or o.d.m) are a Hong Kong based brand who produce Original, Dynamic, and Minimal watches. The brand was started in 1999 and has since won many international design awards.

One of displays that they have used in a few watches was a dot matrix LCD display (approx 7x30) with scrolling time (such as the Mysterious V I blogged last year) and has a message as well.

Today's watch is called the Mr Metallic and has the same dot matrix LCD with message, but with this model the message is programmable. It has a shiny metallic head with the LCD in the middle, and a custom black plastic strap. The time scrolls across the LCD (in inverse) with the message inbetween, and flicking your wrist brings up the time as a normal display. There is a button on the right which activates the el-backlight too.

The watch came out in the late 2000s (around 2008) for about $150, and this variant has a model number of MDD99B-4.

The programmable nature is given away by two small contacts on the back of the watch. To change the message, you were given the option of going to an o.d.m dealer or purchasing their handheld message input device called the Chat Box. This box has an LCD display like the watch along with a keyboard and is the size of a large calculator. Here you can input a message in European (English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish) or Japanese along with symbols. To connect to the watch is a cable with a clip and two prongs which connects to the contacts on the watch. The box also seems to have a sound option, but mine hasn't used the speaker so far. It is powered by a set of AAA batteries, of which 2 are required to run the box, and a 3rd slot seems to be unused.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Tommy Hilfiger T10156

Today's watch is rather normal looking for me, but by a designer I've not featured yet on the blog.

The watch is by Tommy Hilfiger and is the T10156. It is a standard 3 hand dial design with silver hands on a white background, even numbers around the dial, and a small date window at the 3 o'clock position. The design is finished off with a black leather Tommy Hilfiger strap (with a part number of 0564).

Tommy Hilfiger is an American designer who started the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation in 1984 to sell his signature designs after having worked in fashion for the preceeding years. The Tommy Hilfiger products are normally marked by a red, white, and blue flag logo (blue lines top and bottom with the area between split vertically with white on the left and red on the right). The watch features this logo on the dial and also has the shape engraved on the back.

I think this watch is from the late 2000s as there is a sticker on the back (under the protective sticker) saying the battery should be changed in 2011 and assuming a 3-5 year battery life.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Planet Design SA226

Today, I'm wearing one of the mysterious Planet Design watches - the 4th that's appeared on my blog.
This watch is a bit more of a plain design for Planet Design, but has one of the most unique day markers I've seen for a dial watch. In general, it is a 3 hand dial design, and there is a date marker at the 3 o'clock position. Between the date marker and the centre of the dial is a set of 7 small windows in a vertical line with the days of the week marked. The current day is the only one which is a red dot rather than white, but I've not worked out exactly how they do this because the angles don't work out for any split of the dial into equal parts (it is less than 180 degrees but more than 120 degrees). The face also features the normal planet design sphere logo on the left side, and this is also on the back plate.
The model number is SA226, and the watch can still be bought for ¥3,990 online.
I still haven't got to the bottom of the history behind the brand. All I know is they are distributed by Emit (or Emmett) in Japan, and the watches have also been sold on Tokyoflash & SeaHope. They have Japanese movements and are assembled in China.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Burrn! 10 year anniversary

About 2 years ago, I posted a curious watch where the head was connected to the strap with a spring system. Today, I'm wearing another one, but this time I can work out exactly when it's from!

The previous post was of a watch called the BA-727 by a Tokyo based brand called Belami. Belami were a trademark of the Empire Trading Kabushiki Kaisha company, and appear to have been active between 1984 and 2003.

The watch has a 3 hand dial design with large circles on the ends of the hour and minutes hands, and a crown at the 12 o'clock position. The strap is connected to the sides of the case with spring sections and screw mounted arms so it can flex and twist to fit your arm. The strap is also decorated with springs to give it a rough mechanical feel.

This watch is identical to the Belami BA-727 and although it has no makers marks, I assume that it is the same model. This version has a difference in the face design though, and has been made for the Burrn! 10th anniversary. The face has the Burrn! name across the bottom and the word anniversary across the top, with the 10 hour marker showing which anniversary it is (as it is the only numbered hour marker.

Burrn! is a Japanese magazine which has been published monthly since 1984 and currently costs ¥670. It is for Heavy Metal fans and often has an English language cover even though the content is in Japanese, and they describe themselves as the "world's heaviest heavy metal magazine". It is quite interesting I chose to blog this now, as it seems the latest issue is the 30th anniversary edition and I'm blogging the 10th anniversary watch which I therefore assume was issued as a limited edition cover item almost exactly 20 years ago (1984).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Maxell cyclist watch by Smash!

Today's watch is a promotional model for a brand I'd not seen for years.

The watch is made for the Maxell company, or Hitachi Maxell Ltd to give them their full name. I knew about Maxell as they were a popular brand for cassette tapes and VHS tapes when I was young, but I'd not seen their name so much since the CD and DVD era started.  Their main product is actually batteries and the Maxell name comes from "MAXimum capacity dry cELL". Maxell was formed in 1960 as a manufacturer of batteries but expanded operations and was listed on the Tokyo stock exchange earlier this year. They hit the height of pop culture popular in the 80s with their iconic adverts showing a guy being blow  away by the power of his speakers (of course helped by Maxell tapes).

This watch is a 3 hand dial, or more correctly 2 hands and a disc. It has the Maxell name on the face, and has a design  which features a city skyline on the face and a cyclist on a clear disc for the seconds. It has a rubbery plastic strap and a very lightweight aluminium case.

The watch seems to be made by a brand called SMASH!, and their name is on the back and strap of the watch. The Smash! brand seems to have been asked about a lot online, but there is no concrete information about the brand (but it is not the same as the modern smash-watch brand who are missing the !).

As Maxell were at their most popular in the 80s, but this doesn't feature their popular advertising designs, I'd guess that this is a little later and is maybe a 90s model.