Thursday, 23 July 2015

BMW Williams F1 Watch

Today's watch is another of my many watches which commemorates an event, and this one is associated with Formula 1 Motor Racing.

This watch was made for BMW (with a copyright to BMW AG), and commemorates the start of their partnership with the Williams F1 team in 2000. BMW had been major players up to the 1980s, but pulled out in 1989 at the end of the turbocharger era. In 2000, they came back to partner the Williams team who are probably most known for their Williams Renault era in the early 90s when they won the World Championship. The partnership were on the podium in their first race, but the partnership wasn't as successful as hoped and finished in 2005.

The watch is an LCD model with a red display which is slightly angled (up to the right). The LCD is a two line design which normally shows day and date at the top and the time (in 6 digits) below. It is a typical sports watch in terms of modes, with the watch having chronograph, timer, alarm, and dual time options. When the modes are changed, the top line shows text describing the mode before the mode itself is shown.

The case on the watch is an unusual design, but I can't decide whether it is meant to look like a helmet or the nose of an F1 car (or a combination of the two). The strap is thick and rubbery with a wavy pattern along the front. There is the usual information on the back, showing it is all stainless steel, and has a 5 atm water resistance (suggesting it is a European model). There is also an F1 logo and the name BMW.WilliamsF1 Team (with that spacing), along with the phrase "it's a fast world".

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Musk MM-2068 Automatic Watch

The Musk brand that I found recently are a little unusual, as they seem to have become very popular (from nowhere), and they have watches from the cheap to the luxurious feeling. The watches can be spotted by the logo of an intertwined male and female symbol, but with the male symbol arrow pointing straight upwards.

This model is one of the more luxurious feeling ones, with a good quality construction. The watch is the MM-2068 and it is a mechanical model with an automatic movement. The movement has 21 jewels and is a high beat design, with 4 beats per second (14,400 bph). There is a small window in the dial (at the 7 o'clock position) where one of the jewels can be seen as well as a glimpse of the balance wheel. As with many automatics, the back of the watch is clear and the weight can be seen. The weight in this model is gold coloured, and heavily engraved with the Musk name, many versions of the logo, and a geometric pattern. The watch is lightweight, with an aluminium shell, and is 10 bar water resistant (with a screw down crown to help with the watertight seal).

The watch is a 3 hand dial design with a date window at the 3 o'clock position. The face has white markings on a black background, with numbers only at the 12 and 6. There is also a black bezel with the Musk name and logo pressed into it. The watch should have a urethane strap with a screw connection to the case, but my one has my universal strap as the original is missing.

I do not know the original price for this model, but the Amazon Japan site showed this was first listed there in 2010.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Metro LED Date and Time Bar Clock

I've blogged a bit about the Metro brand before, but today's model is not a watch.

The Metro brand seems to be lined to a furniture store in Japan, and they make a variety of clocks and watches. The logo for the brand is the name Metro in a script style font, which is normally found somewhere on the product.

One of the designs the Metro brand seems to be known for in Japan are their LED clocks which come in all manner of shapes and displays. This model is a bar shaped LED with 10 digits in 1 line. The display covers month and day first, with a small gap before the hour, minute, and seconds. The buttons are on the back with there being 3 buttons for modify, add, and reset. The clock is electric powered, using a adaptor to lower the voltage to 12V DC.

I guess the clocks are reasonably recent, but may be from the 2000s. I've not seen this particular model online, so don't have any idea of price or origin.

Monday, 13 July 2015

J-Axis iXa Modern Space Age Multiple Disc Indication

Today's watch is another in the ever popular rotating disc style.

This model is by the J-Axis brand is one of their iXa marked watches. The J-Axis brand begin in 1987 by the parent company Sun Flame Co Ltd, and it seems that iXa is one of the lines/styles that produce. This is also one of the watches they call the Multiple Disc Indication design, which I first blogged about last year. This model also has the text Modern Space Age which I assume refers to the watch design, however the style looks more like a retro take on what a futuristic watch would look like.

This design has two windows for the time rather than the usual one. The left side window covers the hours and minutes, but the second window is on the right side of the watch. Overall, the watch has a round design, but the glass is moulded so that there is a flat square in the centre, with the other faces on the glass tapering down to the bezel.

The back just has the regular J-Axis information: logo, Japan movement, assembled in China, water resistant, stainless steel back, and "Modern Timepieces". The strap is not the original (and is a universal strap I have made to cover all of the watches whose straps are too destroyed to use).

The brand generally has low cost models, so I'd guess this was less than ¥5000. For the date, I think it is likely to be a 2000s model, as it isn't a new design, but I don't think it predates the late 90s fashion watches.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Metro Manhattan Deluxe

Today's watch is the 5th in my collection of Metro watches, and I'm finally beginning to find more information. I seem to be going through a Metro phase too, as I've found quite a few for sale recently.

The Metro brand is a bit of a mystery, especially as their brand name is such a common word, and their watch names aren't so unique either, but they seem to be quite popular whenever they are sold. However, with today's watch I had a breakthrough. I managed to get a case and manual with today's watch, and on there was a company name, Delight, and a phone number. Searching using this has lead me to a company called Delight Corporation Co Ltd in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. The company is quoted as being a furniture company, which explains why I've seen Metro branded clocks, and I guess they must have expanded into other areas too. The company may no longer be in operation though, as their web address currently has no owner.

This model is the Metro Manhattan, and is an analogue watch with a quartz module powered 3 hand dial design. It has a large rectangular case with rounded corners and a black and silver face. The face has numbers for the hour markers, and the words Metro, Manhattan, and Deluxe printed in the centre, along with the Metro 5 pointed star logo. The back has the same text, and nothing more. The strap is a wide plastic design, tapering down from the width of the case. The model number for this design is WW010.

For the date of this model, I'm still having to guess. As the company doesn't seem to be around anymore, but isn't mentioned in the late 90s watch magazines I have, I'm guessing this is from the 2000s.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Alba Quartz Y504

Sometimes, it is easier to guess the date on a watch based on its looks, and today's watch definitely has the look of a vintage watch.

The watch is by the Seiko brand Alba, and is based around the Y504 module. It has a 3 hand dial design with a day and date window at the 3 o'clock position. The face is round woth no numbers on, just the hour markers, and has Alba and Quartz written in silver.

The look of the watch is very reminiscent of the early electronic watches and first quartz watches by Citizen and Seiko (for example the Cosmotron), which suggests a 60s or 70s design. As the Alba brand only started in 1979, this pegs the earliest date for the watch. The serial number on the back suggests it was actually made in 1979, so this is probably one of the earliest Alba watches.

Inside, the quartz movement has the look of an old quartz design, taking up most of the space within the case (-a picture can be seen at the website here). It also uses an AG10 battery, and these larger sized batteries were mainly used in older watches (with most modern basic dial watches using the much smaller AG1 or AG4).

The full model number is Y504-8000. There isn't much information about the watch online, but there seems to be a reasonable number appearing on Japanese auction sites (but very little at non-Japanese sites).

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Medistore Concentric Wheel Watch

For a while now, I've been blogging a brand of watches called Eccentric Classic. These watches were made (or commissioned) by a company called Medistore, and from the few web hits I got, it appeared that this company was linked with body piercing.

The watch I'm wearing today is also by Medistore, but this time, instead of a brand name, the Medistore website is quoted directly (which is a little unusual). This website is the same one as I had found when searching for the Eccentric Classic watches, so I guess they are by the same company. Looking more at the web link, it seems that the company specialises in piercing accessories, but there are other items too. Following the links reveals that they also sell fashion items, including watches and clothes, and they have, or are linked with, various shops around Japan. I still haven't found this watch, or the Eccentric Classic models, but there are other similar looking brands on sale there.

This particular model is a quartz analogue design based on rotating discs. It has a square case with silver face, and 3 concentric windows where the time is shown. Most rotating disc watches just show a portion of the discs, but this design shows the whole of all 3 discs, with a red line at the 12 o'clock position to mark where the time is read (hours on the outside and seconds in the middle). The back of the watch tells me the watch is water resistant with a stainless steel back and Japanese (quartz) movement. The brand name is also there, but as 'medi store' in two words.

There are no distinguishing features on the watch to tell the date, but it looks like a modern low cost design, so I'd guess late 2000s, or early 2010s.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Axcent Broadband x1774

Today's watch is another from the Scandinavian watch company Axcent, and was one of their bestsellers.

This model is called Broadband, and is a quartz analogue watch. The Broadband name has nothing to do with the Internet, but is a very literal name - the watch does indeed have a broad band. The watch has a square case design on a normal width leather strap, but around the back of the case and behind the strap is a second piece of leather which is much wider (and fastened to the normal strap through loops). The watch seems to have come in many different colour and strap variations, with this model being in black with a textured and patterned leather strap. The case is also a different style, having the entire face of the 3 hand dial covered in small jewels/crystals.

The Axcent brand was started in the late 90s with the aim of bringing Nordic design to their watches, using award winning Swedish designers. This model was designed by a young Swedish designer called Petra Nygren, and according to a post on her blog, the design came out in 2008 or earlier. Most of the references state this design was one of the bestselling models, and it is quoted as being a bestseller in over 50 countries.

The back is hidden behind the strap, but when revealed just shows the usual material (stainless steel) and brand logo, as well as the designers signature. The model number for the Broadband is x1774.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Seiko Super Runners 5750 Watch

Today is the hottest day of the year, and with the length of time the sun is up for, I thought I'd try one of my solar watches where the charge is a little weak.

This watch is by Seiko, and is part of their Super Runners line of watches. The Super Runners line is, as the name would suggest, a line of sports watches designed to appeal to runners. The watch features are built around this, with a stopwatch with lap recall (up to 145?), and timer modes, as well as a front mounted lap/split button for easy access.

This model is based around the Seiko 5750 module and is a radiowave control solar watch. It has a detailed display over 3 lines, with the top two capable of showing 7 digits, and the bottom line is a dot matrix array. As well as the runners functions, it also has alarm (x2) and world time features. The case is also 10 bar water resistant for all weather use.

The full model number is 5750-0AA1, and it looks like it was made in 2000 (possibly 2010, but I think that is unlikely based on the status of the battery). The watch is on Amazon though (so it could be newer), where it is quoted with a catalogue number of SBDG001 and a price of $158.

As this is an old solar model, it suffers from power issues. It is a common misconception that solar watches will run forever with the help of the sun, but this isn't actually the case. The solar power is stored in a rechargeable battery, or more commonly a capacitor, to cover for when there is no sunlight. These cells suffer from the same problems as old phone batteries in that the more charge and discharge cycles the watch goes through, the less it can be charged next time. This is not noticeable in day-to-day use,  but over the years, this builds up end in the end, the watch won't hold any charge. The capacitors are normally replaceable, but are specialist items and so are hard to find.

The sun went in and the display died before I took the photos. I'll update the post when it starts to show something again.

UPDATE: It came back to life so here are the photos 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Seiko Wired XYZ W543 Rotating Head Watch

Today I decided to wear a watch from the mysterious line of watches called Wired XYZ by Seiko.

The Wired XYZ range of watches was first released in 2004 (May 21st in Japan) as a line of futuristic designs within the Wired range (that started in 2000). The range initially started with 4 designs (2 digital and 2 chronograph), and were designed under the leadership of Hoshina Ichiro. The XYZ range was promoted by the Korean singer BoA, who had their own branded Wired watch that I blogged in June 2013 (and you can find out more about BoA and the watch here). The XYZ line doesn't seem to be around anymore and the original website has been deleted.

This model has the model number W543-0AG0, but is hard to research as there are no web hits for this number. It is a limited edition of only 100 pieces, and so there aren't too many others out there, so I'm not surprised about the lack of coverage online.

The head of the watch is shaped like a gold bar with a the LCD on the top face. The LCD is powered by the W543 module with 6 equally sized digits (in groups of 2) in a slightly curvy style, and there is a tiny Wired XYZ logo in the corner. Across the top are 3 buttons which switch the display between time and date (with the date having text for what each number means above the digits), or for changing the numbers in time setting mode. The watch case is mounted on a silver cog-like base which allows the watch head to be rotated a complete 360 degrees, so you can use it from any angle. The strap also mounts onto the base and has a part number F2G0-Z-Q.

The back reveals its text as you rotate the head showing the model number, that it is water resistant and made from stainless steel, and it was made in China. There is also text in Japanese on the back of the silver base, but I don't have a translation (so if any reader can translate this, I'd be extremely grateful). There is also a serial number on the back which suggests a 2005 manufacture, and this aligns with the W543 modules date starting at 2004.