Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Seiko Alba My Neighbour Totoro V501 watch

Today's watch mixes a major manufacturer with a well loved Japanese anime character.
The watch is part of the My Neighbour Totoro collection by the Seiko brand Alba. My Neighbour Totoro is a feelgood anime from the famous Studio Ghibli, and one of their most loved movies. The story features the adventures of two young girls who, after moving house, meet various creatures around their house and garden, including soot sprites and Totoro, King of the forest. The movie was released in 1988 and is one that helped bring Japanese anime to a global audience, with Totoro being viewed as one of the greatest animated characters. I'm a fan of the movie, so it's nice to get a watch that matches.

The Alba brand seems to be a major south Totoro watches, with many different designs featuring in their My Neighbour Totoro collection. This model is a 3 hand dial design which is powered by a Seiko V501 movement. It is a ladies/children's size watch with a gold case and blue strap. The watch has a Japanese movement, but was cased in China, and the strap has a series of Japanese characters I can't read on the back.

The face is a light gold with a shiny gold picture in the middle, but was also available in silver. The picture depicts one of the small Totoro sitting on a leaf and holding some acorns.

The full model number is V501-0BB0, and the catalogue number is ACBS738 (or similar, as that number has the same case but a brown strap). The Alba Totoro watches have been around since at least the 90s, but from the serial number (and the Chinese construction), I would guess this is from 2003 and I found it in the 2003 catalogue too. Online, I've seen this for sale originally for ¥6,300, and that was the rrp including tax.

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