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).

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