Friday, 31 October 2014

Nemesis Skull Watch

Happy Halloween to all my readers! I decided to get into the Halloween Spirit with my watch choice for today.

This watch has a skull theme which is quite in keeping with the day. The face has 4 skulls in the centre arranged in a cross and which look rather evil. It has a wide black leather cuff strap with metal studs and a double pin buckle. There are also 2 metal skulls mounted on the strap with large rivets, and the strap is genuine leather made in the USA.

The watch seems to be called Nemesis with this name on the face, back, and on the strap. Inside of the case, the name Winfair (or maybe Win fair) Co is printed on the inside. I guess this is the actual manufacturer, but there aren't any links which I've found which refer to a watch manufacturer. The closest seems to be Winfair Co., Ltd from Hong Kong, who were founded in 1999 but specialise in TV equipment and electronics.

The watch part is a standard 3 hand dial design. It is powered by a a Japanese Miyota quartz module with an AG4 battery.

I guess this is a 2000s watch based on the manufacturer date I found, but I definitely haven't found anything to confirm this.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

United Colors of Benetton Soft Digit LCD drivers watch

For today's watch, I'm blogging one that is a mix of brand and styles which have each been blogged before, but not in this combination.

The watch is from the brand United Colors of Benetton, but isn't one of the Benetton by Bulova models. Benetton has been around since 1965 when it began as a family business after one of the family members produced bright colourful clothing which was unusual at the time. Their most famous line of products came around in the 80s or 90s as United Colors of Benetton. This line was mainly where the most colourful and fashionable products were marketed, and the also produced various ranges of watches.

This watch is from a range called Soft Digit and is an LCD drivers watch. The drivers watch design means that the display is on the front edge of your wrist rather than on the top. This was originally designed so that you could see the time while keeping hold of the cars steering wheel, hence it was a watch for drivers. This Benetton model is a modern take on the design with a mirrored LCD display with 4 digits. The LCD panel is rectangular and shows 2 digits per line to make the digits as large as practical and easy to read. There aren't any real modes to the watch, but it can show time, date, or seconds.

The side mounted LCD is surrounded by a thin metal rectangle with the United Colors of Benetton name engraved into it. This is all mounted in a one piece rubbery plastic (maybe silicone) strap with an expanding clasp. As the strap needs to be cut to size, you should check what size it is if you want to buy one second hand.

I haven't worked out when this was released, but as the only ones for sale are on auction sites, I'd guess it will be from the 2000s, but not older than 2002. The earliest date is set because the price label is in Euros, and the watch sold for €40.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Adidas SF-100 Limited Edition

Through my collection, there are so many different styles of watch. I've managed to cover from the cheap fashion watches, through the vintage electronic watches, to limited edition models like today.

Today's watch is by the sports giant Adidas, and is one of their high-tech LCD models. This is a limited edition version of the SF100 (or SF-100) sports watch, and has an additional model number of 10-0173 on the back. The limited edition model was released in 2002 to commemorate the (football) World Cup in Japan and Korea. I haven't seen this on many Western sites, so it may have been mainly a Far East release, with only 2002 units produced (but maybe 2002 in each of a variety of different colours).

The watch has a round LCD panel with a dot matrix array, except for the bottom line which is in traditional LCD digits. The dot matrix is used for most of the display modes to give time, the mode description, and/or the mode itself. The modes this model has are Chronograph (with a lap recall mode CH-RC), timer, sports timer (with graphics to show time elapsed/remaining), and alarm (x6 including an option to set whether it is a daily alarm on on a specific day). There is also a dual time mode and an el-backlight. The Adidas button on the front isn't to active the light as I'd expected (as that is the top left), but changes the display from the usual large time display to showing the Adidas 3 stripe logo with the time on the normal digits below. Time is set by holding the light button until a message appears, with the mode button cycling through the options, and the top right and middle Adidas button taking the numbers back and forward.

The case is made of plastic, and has a colour matched rubbery plastic strap which follows the lines of the case.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Planet Design EA142 Jewel LCD

Today's watch has one of the most unusual looking LCD panels I've come across, and it is on a low price watch.

This is another of the Planet Design watches by Emit Co., Ltd from Japan. The brand has been shipped outside of Japan by Tokyoflash, and is sold in Japan in most of the main sales sites. The Planet Design range is made to be a modern take on retro designs, but today's example has a much more modern look.

This model is the EA142 and is a plastic case LCD design. The really unusual part is the design of the LCD which is unlike anything I've seen before. When nothing is displayed, the LCD panel is completely mirrored, with no indication of any digits. The digits are a series of dots, but when you look closely, they appear to be jewels with each dot containing many different reflective faces like a cut diamond. This optical illusion is very effective, making it look like jewels (or rhinestones as the adverts state) keep appearing and disappearing. I've tried to get this on a photo, but it was much harder than I thought.

Apart from the LCD panel, the watch is a normal LCD design with time, date, and seconds displays. The watch has a plastic case and matching plastic strap.

It comes in 5 colours, and this pink model is the EA142-03. The sale price is ¥2,100

Monday, 27 October 2014

Casio AD-732 Ana-Digi

It's not often that there is a watch by a brand as large as Casio which seems to be missing from the internet, but today I'm wearing one.

This model is the AD-732 by Casio, and the only link I've found online is to one single online auction. I can't even see any other models in the range with the only other Casio AD- models I found being for keyboards. The watch uses a 789 module, which is also missing from the archive of Casio manuals online, and there is no reference of this module online either. On this basis, I'm guessing that it may be a very rare and unusual model.

The main part of the watch is the analogue display which is a 3 hand dial design. The unusual feature is that there are 5 small LCD windows at the bottom of the dial - 3 round and 2 rectangular. The centre round window is a small LCD dial, and the rectangular windows have items such as the pm marker and fill and empty with the seconds. The remaining 2 small round LCD windows show the modes in use, with the options of time, timer, alarm, and dual time. Modes are switched and used by the two buttons on the case at the 4 and 8 o'clock positions.

The design is like a standard smart sports/divers watch with the watch having a purple rotating bezel with minute markers. The face is in light blue with an unusual design of hour marker at the 3, 9, and 12 o'clock positions. The case is stainless steel with a screw on back and 20 bar water resistance. On the back, it also has the Marlin symbol, but this is the leaping Marlin rather than the swimming Marlin design. The leaping Marlin was used on some of the Casio divers watches (of which I blogged the MD-730 in April) and it isn't the same as the models usually associated with the Casio Marlin range.

Due to the lack of online info, it may suggest a 90s model, but that is just a guess because of the lack of concrete information.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Seiko Quartz 3802-7020

I hope that all of my European followers remembered to change their watches last night. Luckily I don't need to keep changing my watches as I have enough to have summer and winter watches.

Today, I chose an early quartz dial design by Seiko. This watch is one of the 38 series of quartz watches that Seiko released in the early 70s. This model uses the 3802 movement and was made in 1972. The caliber 3802 first came out in June 1972 and was one of the first quartz movements by Seiko which were released in large quantities (with most earlier quartz movements  having only a few thousand units manufactured at most). 

This watch has a 3 hand dial design with a date window at the 3 o'clock position, and hour markers with no numbers. The battery is hidden under a large raised part on the back which screws off separately from the back. The original battery was similar to the SR43SW with a raised section on the negative terminal, but the more common AG10 battery can also be used as a replacement.

The 38 (or 38xx) series were well made high quality models, and had a cost similar to, if not higher than, the Seiko mechanical watches of the time.

This particular version is the 3802-7020 and it came in several colours (including my two tone model and a plain silver design).

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Citizen Junction Eco-Drive 7821

Today's watch is a simple design, and very plain compared to my usual choices.
This watch is by Citizen and part of a range called Junction. I've not found any history of the Junction line but there are many dial design watches with the Junction name on the dial.

This model is based on the 7821 module which has been covered in some of my 1481010 watches previously. It is an Eco-Drive module using the face as the solar panel. This module needs around 20 min of fluorescent light to provide a days power or 30 hrs to charge from full to empty (when new). It has a 3 hand dial design with a small date window at the 3 o'clock position. The dial is simple and clear with numbers at the hour markers. The strap is an expanding metal design, but this has been fitted later as the original was leather.

The full model number is 7821-K13157, and looking at the serial number and the common module to the 1481010s, it appears to be from 1999 (which I confirmed by finding it in a catalogue). It was originally sold for ¥12,000 and had a catalogue number of JA10-2243R. There was also a smaller matching ladies model (which looks to be the same for nearly all of the Junction line) which has the same model number, but with a B at the end instead of the R.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Nixon - The Small Lodown

It's a much more modern and feature rich LCD watch for me today.

This watch is The Small Lodown by the Nixon brand. It has the model number NIX003G and is still on sale for an rrp of $125. Like most (all?) Nixon watches, it has a tag line, and this one is "In the know". The Nixon brand make lifestyle accessories in all manner of designs to match their owners style. It is based in California where it started in 1998.

This model is an LCD watch which is aimed at users of the sea, such as surfers, boaters, and fishermen, and as such is 100m water resistant. To provide their needs, this watch has a Direct Tide feature and is programmed with the tide information for over 200 beaches for over 15 years. You just select the beach, and when you want to know, and it'll tell you the tides.

This is the purple model which has an inverse LCD display. The display is dot matrix and split into 2 main sections, the bottom for the time (or beach name, or modes), and the top is where the tide graph sits. The other modes are more standard, with the watch having dual time, alarm, chronograph, and timer.

Eagle-eyed readers may have already spotted from the photos that I have a problem with the LCD display as the top half doesn't show properly. This is because at some point in its history, the watch has had something spilt inside. LCD watches normally have a connector block which transmits the signals from the circuit board to the LCD panel. This is commonly a strip of rubber with very fine wires running through it to connect the terminals. The block is then clipped, glued, or just squashed into place to make the connection. The wires don't seem to match one-to-one on the circuit, but as long as some wires make all of the connections, then the display will work. I thought I'd let you know about this, as it is a common cause of an LCD display not working fully, and can sometimes be cured by adding pressure to this connection to make the wires connect - you need to watch out though, as the wires are fine and can easily become more damaged if you take it apart and treat the connection block incorrectly. When the spill happened on this watch, it coated (or corroded) the block and wires for the top half (-there are two separate blocks for this model) and stopped the part working. I've been unable to fix it yet, so the watch only shows the bottom part, but at least I still have the time!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Citizen Multi Alarm 40-1013

I thought I'd go back to the vintage watches again today with a 1970s LCD model.

This watch is the Multi Alarm by Citizen. The model was released in 1978 and this particular watch was manufactured in 1977. Most of the models at the time were branded under the Crystron name, but this model doesn't have that marking (just having a small CQ - Citizen Quartz mark below the LCD).

Inside is a 9100 module (calibre) which was one of the last modules from Citizen which used a ceramic printed circuit board (PCB). It was the second module from Citizen watches with an alarm (after the 9021), but the watch was superceded by the Multi Alarm II (quite quickly if what I've read is correct).

It has a chunky stainless steel case with a rectangular LCD panel in the middle. Most of the buttons are arranged on the right side of the watch, with only the mode button in the left. The back is a screw-on design which also has small holes for the alarm sound to escape (-a feature normally only seen on the vintage alarm watches). The strap is also stainless steel, and this example only has the Citizen stamp on the back of the clip, either shunning the common CQ mark, or having had some replacement parts.

The LCD is split into sections by the insert behind the glass. The top shows the time with 5 1/2 digits plus an am/pm marker. The bottom part is coloured green and has several small windows for the different mode indicators. The modes covered are for the two alarms, chime, timer, and stopwatch (which counts whole seconds only).

The model number is 40-1013, and the other identifying number is 4-096614.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Freestyle Shark b-cross

Today it's time for another of my Freestyle watches, and another LCD model.

Working out a model name on the Freestyle watches is always a little challenging. This says Night Vision on the face, but after a bit of research that seems to just mean that the watch has an el-backlight. The strap has the name b-cross (maybe b cross) and bX, so I think this may be the name (or specific line) as it doesn't refer to a feature of the watch. The watch is also one of the Freestyle Shark line which are mainly aimed at surfers (and are the "raddest watches in the universe"), although I think this may be for snowboarders. The reason I think this is a snowboarders watch is that the name b cross and bX can refer to the sport Boardercross (snowboard cross) which is a downhill snowboard race for 4 simultaneous racers which includes various jumps and sharp turns. This use would fit with the very secure fabric strap with two fastening mechanisms (both clip and velcro) which would be suitable for cold weather and rough use. The watch is also white and clear colours, which fits with a snow and ice theme.

The case is similar to the other Freestyle Shark watches I've blogged with the same shape and plastic screw-on bezel around the LCD glass. Both the Freestyle and Shark logos are on the face above and below the LCD. The back has the Freestyle USA logo with the statement that this is a "high performance timing machine" (and that the back is stainless steel and the watch was made in China).

The LCD has two lines of 6 digits, with the first digit on the top line being different to show letters for the day. For modes, it has a stopwatch, alarm, and timer which all use the top line, leaving the bottom line to keep displaying the time.

Freestyle USA have been making watches for around the last 30 years, so it's difficult to age the watches without finding them specifically online (which is almost impossible due to the lack of model name/number). For this watch, I think it is one of their 90s LCD models, but it could be newer. A 90s date may also fit with the first Boardercross event in 1991, or the sports inclusion in the Winter X-Games from 1997.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Deep Rotating Disc 5766 NW

Today's watch is one that either makes a piece fall into place in my watch investigations, or just confuses things further.

The watch is by a Japanese fashion brand called Deep, who I've covered on my blog previously. The produce many different designs and appear to be quite popular in Japan, but their origins are a bit of a mystery (as with many Japanese fashion brands).

The design here is also one which will have been seen before by regular readers. It is a 3 dial rotating disc design with only a thin rectangular face with the strap mounted on the front (making it look thinner than it really is). Inside is a Japanese quartz movement with the discs rotating rather than being a true jump hour.

The back has the Deep brand name, as well as the model number which doesn't follow the normal DT- numbering and is 5766 NW. This is where it gets confusing as the number 5766 is also linked with this same design in the Deadman watch line (as this has a model number of GV5766). This made me think that there are a few possible reasons including: 1) both Deep and Deadman are brands under the same main company (in parallel, or one later than the other), 2) both Deep and Deadman commission watches from the same manufacturer who has this model number for the design, or 3) one brand has copied the other, and ended up copying the number too (with Deadman seeming to be earlier in time). I can't work out which one of those options it may be, so I'll keep investigating!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Timex woven strap watch

I get asked quite often how I manage to decide which watch to wear for the day. There are different things I take into consideration, mainly which have a working battery and haven't been blogged yet, but sometimes it is based on what I've chosen to wear.

Today's choice was just that I'd happened to pick up a brown top this morning and it caught my eye as the first brown watch I saw.

The watch is by Timex and will have been made by one of the companies within the Dutch Timex Group (normally the Timex Group USA). The roots of the company started in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company, and eventually morphed into Timex in 1950 (the x being used to mean eXpertise).

This model is a mystery 3 hand dial design watch with a date window at the 3 o'clock position. The look would fit nicely in their Expedition range, but there is no mention of a range or a model number on the watch. The face is quite plain and easy to read, but the main hour markers are the afternoon numbers (from 13 to 24) with the 1 to 12 in small digits on an inner circle. It has a gold coloured rotating bezel with the compass points on, and this is free rotating smoothly which is a little unusual as most I've found to have a rather mechanism and can only turn one way. The strap is brown leather and has a woven or platted style design with the sections looking like they fasten through a loop in the next section.

The back has the usual information about materials (stainless steel back), water resistance (25m), and place of assembly (Philippines), and also says it uses a Timex LA cell battery.

For the date, this is definitely a guess due to the lack of identifying information on the watch. From the style, my guess would be early 90s, as that would fit with similar looks from the other major manufacturers, but it could be a lot newer.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Omron PQ10 Pendant LCD

As I wasn't going out and about today, I decided I'd cover one of the more unusual styles of timepiece that was released.

This is a pendant watch, and is designed to hang around your neck on a chain. It wasn't the most practical design as an analogue watch, but when they made LCD versions, you also had to make sure you turned it the right way to read the time.

This LCD pendant is by a Japanese company called Omron. There isn't much online about the brand with regards to their watches, but there is an Omron company who produces electronic devices (such as blood pressure monitors) who I'd guess is the right one.

The model is called the PQ10 and is a rectangular LCD pendant which measures about 1cm by 2.5cm. On the face is a small 3 1/2 digit LCD display which only shows the time. The buttons for setting the time are inside holes in the back and need a pin to be able to operate. Inside is a large module which uses an AG3 battery.

The style is quite simple with a silver case with grooves along the length, and a red surround to the LCD.

Both the style and the type of timepiece makes this seem to be an 80s model, but that is just my opinion (as I can't find anything on the watch or online to confirm it).