Thursday, 30 April 2015

Michel Jurdain EG-5312 Sun & Moon Automatic

Today's watch is another mechanical watch (continuing my current batteryless watch phase) by a manufacturer with an inconsistent history.

The watch is by a brand called Michel Jurdain (which is often accompanied by alternate versions of the name like Michael /Michelle Jordan /Giordan). The capitalisation is a little unusual for the name, as on the watch it is actually written as 'michel Jurdain' . Some of the sites which refer to the brand note it as being a French company based in Paris, started in 1982, and specialising in menswear. This would be ok, except that the only other sites which reference the brand are in Japanese. The 'official' Michel Jurdain webshop is also in Japanese, and the 'about' section says it is a domestic brand...

The watch itself is a model which seems to be called Sun & Moon and has a model number of EG-5312. It has an automatic mechanical movement with the balance wheel visible through a window at the 6 o'clock position. There is no seconds hand, but from the ticking of balance wheel it appears to have a high frequency tick. On the dial there are also two smaller dials at the 9:30 and 2:30 positions. The top left dial is a 24 hr hour hand, while the top right dial also rotates over 24 hrs and has pictures of the sun and moon to mark day or night (and is where the name comes from).

The watch case is in the tonneau style in steel, and there is a window in the back so you can see the weight for the automatic winding. The back plate of the watch only says 'automatic' and 'water resistant', but the weight has the brand name and logo and the model number printed on it. The design is completed by a thick padded leather strap with the Michel Jurdain name printed know the back.

The Michel Jurdain watches are for sale now, and I've seen this model still being sold new, so I guess it isn't old, but it isn't in the official webshop anymore. The watches are expensive with the webshop showing the brand selling models veteran ¥60,000 and ¥140,000. There does seem to be many sites which always seem to be selling the models on sale, and this model is being sold for ¥15,000 after a 79% discount (suggesting an rrp around ¥70,000).

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Lotte Zero 1997

Today's watch is an unusual shaped promotional model with a bit of a sci-fi feel.

The front of the watch only has the word Zero on it, but the back reveals it was made for (or maybe even by) Lotte. The Lotte Corporation are well known in Japan and Korea as a confectionary manufacturer, but not so much for their watches. The company was originally founded in 1948 as a maker of chewing gum, but has expanded over the years to be a lifestyle company (including cinemas, shopping, electronics, hotels, chemicals, and amusement parks).

The watch is an LCD model with an inverse LCD display in a metal case. The case is an oval shape (widest to the sides) with a raised round centre. The case also sticks out at the top and bottom for the strap connections and the lower of these has the Zero name pressed into it. The LCD is in the middle of the watch and is rotated by 45 degrees. The LCD module is a simple one, just covering the basic time, date, and seconds, but it does have an electroluminescent backlight. The back of the watch has the Zero name, 'Lotte Original' the date 1997 and the serial number. The serial number is only 4 digits long which suggests that there is no more that 9999 of these watches.

Zero is actually a product by Lotte and is a sugar free chocolate. It is quoted as being released in 1996, so the 1997 date on the watch is either for the first birthday, or maybe the true release date (with 1996 being the date it was announced). The Zero chocolate logo is a circle with a thick diagonal line in the centre (i.e. a zero), and looks the same as the centre of the watch (the raised round section for the circle and the LCD display being the diagonal line).

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Musk MA-2118 Chronograph

Today's watch is by a brand I have come across recently, and who seem to have become quite popular in Japan.

The watch is by a brand called Musk. The Musk brand seems to have only appeared recently in the Japanese watch market. Their logo is an intertwined male and female symbol (circle with an upwards arrow or downwards cross but the male symbol is different than normal with the arrow pointing straight up), so I guess it means they are a unisex brand. I've not found any useful information in English with most of the watches found on Japanese sales sites, and I'm still unable to find their website. The brand has produced all manner of designs of watches for men and women with prices up to around ¥20,000.

This model is the MA-2118 and is an analogue watch with a quartz movement. It is a chronograph watch with a 3 hand dial design with 3 small dials. The small dials cover seconds (bottom) and minutes (left) for the chronograph as well as 24 hr time (right). The chronograph is operated by the buttons above and below the crown on the right side.

I think this model is pretty new, coming out in this decade, and is seen it on sale for around ¥10,000 but also heavily discounted online.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Storm Rollernet

I've blogged watches which move is all sorts of ways so far. There's been watches which rotate, twist, or flip up, but this is the first where the face can be rotated 360° in all directions!

The watch is by Storm of London, and is called the Rollernet. As regular readers will know, Storm watches were the ones which started me collecting watches. The brand started in 1989 to produce fashionable but affordable watches, and have a recognisable style.

The Rollernet is an analogue watch with a 2 hand dial. The dial is set into a sphere of glass and metal which houses the whole watch movement and display. This sphere is set into the body of the watch in a way that allows it to rotate freely (like the ball in a roll-on deodorant). To adjust the watch, you need to take off (unscrew) the ring holding the ball to get to the crown (as well as the back for battery replacement).

The rest of the watch has the brushed steel look of the Storm watches, and it has a variation on the normal strap design with holes in the long solid first links, but the normal Y-piece flexible section. The back gives the material (steel) and the brand and model name, but not much else.

From what I've found online, the watch was around in the mid 2000s, but it may have been first available at the end of the 90s (but I've not been able to confirm that so far). The original rrp seems to have been around $170, but that is also hard to completely validate.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Casio W-E10

Considering how many Casio watches are in my collection (-this is the 162nd on the blog), it feels like I don't wear them that often.

This model is the W-E10 (but sometimes written online as WE-10 or WE10)  by Casio, and it has a slightly different feel than many of the Casio watches I own.

The W-E10 is a large digit LCD watch with a rounded LCD panel. The display has 3 lines, but is dominated by the time display which takes up around half of the height. The other lines have smaller digits and cover day and date (top), and seconds (bottom). Inside is a Casio 2470 module which gives the watch time, alarm, and stopwatch functions. It is also an Illuminator model with an el-backlight.

The design for the W-E10 is very light, and has tapered edges which give it a very slim feeling on your wrist. The case is plastic with a steel back which has 5 bar water resistance, and the strap feels like it's made of the common flexible plastic which is common on Casio watches.

My searches have found that this had an original rrp of £24.99, but it isn't for sale anymore. The design looks relatively new, and this along with the watch's condition suggest to me it's likely from the 2000s.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

United Colors of Benetton Dual Dial Watch

I've been travelling today so I decided to wear a watch which can handle multiple time zones.

This watch is by United Colors of Benetton, and also has a link to a watch I've blogged before. In November last year, I blogged a wide strap watch with a replaceable head (rather than strap), and this model is another of those. The watch has a wide rectangular head, but this time with two separate 3 hand dials, each with their own quartz movement. As with the other model, this watch has the crown unusually at the 12 o'clock positions. The back of this watch also has a registered design number, and this watch is 7451111055 (which starts with the same 7451).

The original sale price for this model was €99, but I'm not sure when it was released.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Android USA Flip Lid Dual Dial

It's a quick post for me today.

The watch I've chosen is by a brand I've blogged a few times called Android USA. The brand was started in 1991, and from the range of watches I've come across, they have made all manner of different styles of watches.

This watch is not so easy to use one handed, as the time is basically hidden behind a metal plate. Below the plate is a little switch which when pulled down allows the lid to flip open. Behind the lid, there are actually two analogue dials. These are both 3 hand dial designs, and have separate quartz movements and a crown on each side of the metal case.

The back of the watch has the Android USA logo, and a statement that it is Android design, and "Property of OKO" but I don't know why.

There isn't much info about this model, so I don't know when it's from. It looks like it would fit with the style of metal watches that came out in the 90s.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Spotch Watch

My last post was a Swatch watch, but today's post is about  a Spotch watch.

This watch is a complete mystery model. I bought it because of its interesting look, but have never heard of the name Spotch before. Trying to find out about the name Spotch has been rather unsuccessful, with lots of search results just being from spelling mistakes (especially from splotch). The only Japanese link which could be something to do with it is a Japanese site where Spotch seems to be some sort of radio show for sports supporters.

The watch is an analogue model with a 3 hand dial design. The dial is an unusual shape like a wide ice cream cone (pointed bottom and curved top). On the face of the dial is a pattern of curved lines like radio waves/wifi being 'broadcast' from the centre, and the seconds hand is wavy. Below the dial is the name Spotch as well as two symbols which look like a computer mouse and a printer (although this is a guess). The back of the watch holds no hints about the watch's origin either (just that the back is stainless steel). The strap also has the Spotch name on it, and is a fabric design with a double fastening (inner velcro fastener and outer plastic clip) which is often seen on sports watches.

Because of the lack of information, I don't know when this was released, but it looks relatively new, so I'd guess 2000s.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Swatch Automatic - Red Ahead

There's been quite a few Swatch watches on this blog, but this model is a different type that I'd been after for a while.

All of the Swatch watches I had to begin with had been the usual quartz movement design, but early on I discovered that they had also made a range of automatic mechanical watches.

The Swatch Automatic watches were only released for a short period of time, from 1991 to 1997, before they were replaced by the Autoquartz technology. Over that time, it appears that they released 78 different models. The Swatch Automatic seems to have originally been released for around $85 which was extremely low for a mechanical watch, and one article I've read suggested the manufacturing cost was only $22. The automatic uses an ETA Eterna 2842 caliber with 23 jewels. According to an article which reviewed the module (link), it has a reasonable accuracy at 19 seconds per day, but due to the manufacturing process it is not the most smooth running watch. The movement is also a hi-beat sweep hand design with a 21,600 bph frequency.

This design is called the Red Ahead and has a model number of SAK101. It was designed in 1991, and released as part of the 1992 Fall Winter collection. It has an open face design where you can see the movement, but not a skeleton as there has been no cutting away of the movements case to allow you to see the insides. The case design is typical Swatch and looks like the Swatch Originals models. It has a blue, silver and gold design in a clear plastic case (which has discoloured to yellow, but matches well), and comes with a red leather strap.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Boy London BOY-31-W - All Silver

I've been collecting these Boy London watches for a while now, but the brand is a confusing as ever. Every time I think I've spotted a trend in design and model number, I find a watch which doesn't fit.

Any regular readers will have noticed that I've blogged a few watches with the model number of BOY-31-W, and within that number there is a range of mainly similar, but slightly different designs. Today's model is also a BOY-31-W, but completely different than the others...

This watch is a 3 hand dial design analogue watch with a Japanese quartz movement. The face is all silver and so is the case, with the hands being black. As there is no colour, the design is made by the combinations of shiny and brushed surfaces, and raised or lowered sections, and it mixes between the face and bezel. The pattern on the face splits the dial area into 2 parts with a squiggly line for a boundary, and one of the sides has a diamond shaped net pattern. The Boy London name is on the front with Boy raised out of the bezel and part covering the glass, while London is etched into the face, and there is the Eagle logo also on the bezel. The hour numbers also are shared between the face and bezel in different styles (numbers and text but with no number 12) with 3,5,7, and 9 on the dial.

The watch back is the version with the brand name and model number, and a statement about how only the original products have the message.

The strap follows the normal Boy London leather strap design with the 2 colour leather, studs, and the name and logo pressed into the leather. The buckle is different than normal and just has the Boy London name engraved into it.

I've blogged a lot of the Boy London watches so far, so I won't repeat myself about the brand origin here (and I plan to pull together an overview page soon).

The look of this model suggests a newer design, but working out the date is hard. I think it looks like it should be a 2000s model, but it could be late 90s like many of the others.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Eccentric Classic 1/2 Skeleton - Pixel

I blogged a relatively unknown fashion brand called Eccentric Classic a little while ago, and after searching for them online, I've started to build a little collection. After looking at some of their designs, I also found many similarities to some of the other unknown Japanese fashion brands, so now have links between Deadman, Deep, and Module with a design, Module and Eccentric Classic with another (which I've not blogged about yet), and now from Eccentric Classic back to Deadman...

This Eccentric Classic model is a skeleton design analogue watch. It has a hand wind mechanical movement which can be seen through the holes in the watch face and through the glass watch back. The movement has a sweep hand operation, with a frequency of over 14,400 bph (or >4 per sec). The dial on this watch is split into two with a pale gold coloured face and the open part where the movement shows. The edge of the face is shaped in a an irregular line with a squared path, so reminds me of the blocky designs from pixel art. The numbers on the dial are hour markers in Roman numerals, and for the skeleton parts, the hour numbers are printed on the glass instead. The strap is a brown padded leather design.

This watch states that it is an Eccentric Classic by Medi Store. What I've found about Medi Store is that it is a shop in Japan which sells all manner of goods which normally relate to body piercing, and I've seen posts suggesting that the watches were on sale there. In my previous post I found a link between Eccentric Classic and a manufacturer called RSSP, but little else. This suggests to me that the Eccentric Classic line may have been commissioned by Medi Store, and manufactured by RSSP for them (but I can't find a site linking all 3, so it may be that the name changed hands, or Medi Store and RSSP got the watches from another 3rd party).

When I saw this design, I was immediately reminded of the Deadman Mechanical Special Edition watch I posted in October last year. The case shape is the same, the movement looks almost identical through the back, and they both have a 1/2 Skeleton face with the lower left part of the movement exposed. The Eccentric Classic watches seem to be newer based on the sites referencing them, but I don't know the real reason for the link.

Based on the timing of the different Web links, I think that these watches are relatively new (compared to the late 90s timing of Deadman). One blog featured this particular model, and had a date of 2012, so I have no reason to doubt that date for the watch's release.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Person's V535 - Eiffel Tower

It seems like the big watch companies have worked for many different fashion brands over the years, making lines of watches for their sale. Today's watch is another of those.

This watch is by the Japanese clothing brand Person's. The Person's name/clothing was first seen in 1977, when the name and logo was first used by Takaya Iwasaki, before becoming a brand in 1979. The brand produces clothes (as well as shoes, hats, watches, bedding, glasses, and cosmetics) which mix eastern and western dress culture, and are "people orientated". The Japanese Person's brand and logo was also used by an American company I'm the 80s, but these items are not related to the Japanese company (and there was a legal trademark dispute about this).

The watch appears to be a Seiko collaboration based on the model number V535-6A50. Inside it shows that the V535 module (which uses a 927 battery) and the case was made by the Seiko linked Shiojiri company. I blogged another Person's watch in November 2014, but there, it doesn't seem to have been a Seiko style, so it may be that there was not an exclusive link between Person's and Seiko (at least for the whole time they've sold watches).

The watch itself is a 3 hand dial design which also has a 4th rotating item - a disc which follows the hour hand rotation. The face features a stylized sketch of the Eiffel Tower and the Person's logo. The rotating disc is visible on the top half of the dial, behind the tower, and has pictures of an aeroplane and stars (so they look to fly past the tower). The case design reminds me a little of the Boy London watches, with a round case with the Person's name moulded into the bezel.

From the serial number, it appears the watch could have been made in 1989, 1999, or 2009, and I would think that the 1999 or 2009 dates are the most likely.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Diesel DZ-1132

Today is my second Diesel watch this month, but definitely a different size.

The Diesel brand are a clothing and accessories company best known for their denim products. It started in 1978, and is now part of a holding company called 'Only the Brave' which features on the watches back along with the logo, a picture of a face in profile who has a mohair hairstyle.
Diesel seem to have been one of the first big design companies to bring back watches as a form of jewellery (or were at least one of the first I noticed) which happened late in the 00s. Their designs tend to be very noticeable, often with oversized dimensions (in the men's watches especially).

This model is the DZ-1132 (which is also written online as DZ1132 or DZ 1132, but the number on the back has the '-'). It is a large dimension analogue watch with a 3 hand dial design. The watch has a rounded rectangular case with an old style TV shaped face. The dial has two levels, with the left side by the 9 being deeper into the watch than the rest, with the word Diesel on the slope between the two levels. The 9 is also very large and raised from the face, with the only other numbers being around the middle of the dial and covering the hours from 12 to 23. The strap is brown leather and matches the brown face, and online there seemed to be more links to replacement straps than the watch itself. The back details the usual solid stainless steel material (but the watch is still very lightweight) and 5 bar water resistance.

This model seems to be from 2011, but I don't know the rrp.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Monkey+h Big Tic style watch

It now seems quite often that I've searched for a watch online and managed to find nothing about it, and today's watch is one of those.

The name on the back of the watch says Monkey+h but I've not found this name on the web so far (although it may just be that searching for a name with punctuation is quite hard).

The watch design is an ana-digi with a 3 hand analogue dial and LCD display on the watch face. The face is the unusual watch feature on this model and is made up of a rounded dot matrix seconds display at the bottom of the dial, and a set of small fixed numbers over the rest of the face. The display is animated and different versions can be displayed using the buttons on the side of the watch. If the 'falling numbers' animation is used, it looks like the ones of small numbers on the face are falling down the screen and it reminds me of the falling text from the Matrix movie. The display is also pretty much the same as a design of Big Tic display used by Fossil.

The face is in the middle of a large case and surrounded by a ring of minutes numbers, a ring of shiny silver and that is surrounded by a white plastic edge trim (which also looks around where the crown sticks out). The strap is thick and rubbery, and seems shaped to match the watch case.

Inside is a 2 part module. The first electronics you come across are for the LCD display, with the battery visible in a hole through the plastic cover. Unscrewing the cover reveals the LCD circuit board, and there is a hole in the board where you can access the AG4 battery for the analogue display. which has its quartz module hidden under the LCD circuits.

As for age and price, I don't have any fixed clues. I think may be a low price brand/model because of its similarities with a major brand, and the lack of online presence suggests to me that it is at least a few years old (so I guess 2000s).

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Nautica Competition Yellow Dial

Today, I'm back to the Nautica brand of watches with this yellow quartz model.

The Nautica brand started as a menswear brand in 1983, but have expanded into a global brand for lifestyle products. They are know part of the VF Corporation, and have a very sailing based theme with the name coming from the Latin word for ship.

This particular model is a standard 3 hand dial design with a quartz movement. The dial is bright yellow with blue numbers, and minutes numbers for the 5 minutes towards the middle. The design is missing a couple of numbers though - the 6 is not present, but the Nautica Competition name is printed on the glass at this point. The 3 is also missing as that is where the date window is located, and there is a Nautica N logo next to the date as well.

The back is a stainless steel screw-on design giving a 50m water resistance, and the watch has a base metal case. The strap is made of leathery plastic and foam rubber, giving it a nautical feel. Inside the back, the name Callanen International is printed, and so I assume they are the case manufacturer. Callanen International were the producers of Guess watches, but were purchased by Timex in 1991, who gained the Nautica licence in 1994.

The module inside this model is a WX42E from Time Module Inc (who may have been a spin-off from Seiko). They are Hong Kong based, but may have manufacturing in Japan (as the watch back says it is a Japanese movement).

I don't know when this watch is from, but I would expect it to be later than the mid 90s and it is not a current model, so I'd guess 2000s.