Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Conran Y167

I know today's watch is designer, but the question I'm left with is which designer is it..?

The watch is by Conran, and is a 3 hand dial design (or more correctly, 2 hands and a disc for seconds). It has a round metal case with a thick rim/bezel, and with the silver disc for the seconds, it makes the hour and minutes hands only visible in the white ring inbetween.

The back shows this is made by Seiko, with the watch using a Seiko Y167 quartz module, and having a typical Seiko back plate layout. It tells me that the watch is a mixture of stainless steel and base metal, is water resistant to 5 bar, and was made in Japan.

The serial number suggest a date of 88, 98, or 2008, and based in the design, I would guess 98 is the most likely. The full model number is Y167-0A40.

As the watch face only has the name Conran, the question of which designer is a challenge, with both Jasper Conran and Terence Conran being famous designers. There are very few links online with Conran and Y167, but one of the watches for sale in Japan mentions it is Terence Conran, so I'll have to assume at this time that they are correct. Sir Terence Conran was born in 1931 and is a designer, restaurateur, and writer. In his early career, he designed a shop for the designer Mary Quant, and is most known as the founder of the Habitat stores.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

L'uomo Musk Gold Quartz Watch

Today's watch is a confusing one...

The watch is by a brand called L'uomo Musk which basically translates to Man Musk. I've blogged watches by a brand called Musk before which were quite robust and quality feeling with a high rrp, while this L'uomo Musk watch is lighter and cheaper feeling, so initially I thought there would be no link. But, there is a logo on the watch which is the male and female symbols intertwined, but with the arrow for the male symbol pointing straight up, which is the same as on the Musk watches. So, it appears they are linked, or one is a copy of the other...

The L'uomo Musk brand seems active in Japan (and possibly Thailand) and produce watches, handbags, handkerchiefs, and lighters. There is one link which suggests the brand is owned by a company called Okazaki which was established in 1967. That company has the same products, and uses an overseas partner for manufacturing, which fits with this product.

The watch itself is a standard 3 hand dial design with a quartz movement. It has a gold coloured case with large areas above and below the dial where the logo is moulded into the case. The dial has no numbers, just hour markers, and has the L'uomo Musk name printed across it. The strap is black leather, but appears to be a replacement. There is no more information on the watch as the back is completely blank (which is different to the Musk watches).

I don't know when the watch is from, but the L'uomo Musk items only seem to have appeared online recently, so I'll guess this is a 2010s model (but could be 2000s).

Monday, 28 September 2015

Deadman GV8292

I seem to have been blogging the Japanese fashion watches a lot recently, and I'm going for another one today.

Today's choice is one of my Deadman (or Dead Man) watches (the 15th on the blog), which is one of my favourite mystery brands. As mentioned in previous posts, they were around in the late 90s, and produced many different designs of watch (over 30 at my last count), but lot much more is published about them.

This model is the GV8292 and is one of their disc models. It has a left sided rotating disc design (meaning the discs are arranged on the left side of the spindle with the hours on the outer dial), which is like the old jump hour watch designs. The watch case is the what tends to change between the models, and this design has a metal case (in black) getting wider towards the middle, except for a narrow band across the middle where the time is. The band is in gold and has the Deadman Quartz text next to the time display. The strap is metal, and in a matching black coating. The back has the usual Deadman info (model number, stainless steel back, name), but also has an 'Assembled in China' sticker.

I have no firm idea on the date, other than knowing that the brand was active in the late 90s, and that they were a low cost manufacturer.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Planet Design SA101 Drivers LED

Today, I'm back wearing one of my Japanese fashion watch collection, with this model from Planet Design. This is the 8th Planet Design watch to feature here, and it is a completely different style to any of the ones which have come before. The Planet Design watches are produced by a company called Emit Co Ltd from Japan who are producing a modern take on retro styles (and more can be found about them on my other Planet Design posts).

This model is the SA101 and is a very luxurious looking take on the drivers LED style of watch. It is actually a 4 digit LED illuminated LCD display, which is powered by a Japanese quartz module, and has time and date displays. The display is tilted so when you have your wrist on its side, you can see the display, but as you need to press a button for the time to appear, you still need to remove one hand from the wheel.

The luxurious feel comes from how the strap is arranged and the finish on the case. It is a thick smooth matt leather design, but the top half of the strap comes over the top of the watch to near the display. The case is in brushed steel on the front, with shiny sides and a shiny surround to the display behind the curved glass. The Planet Design name is pressed into the strap below the face, and the name and logo is on the back plate.

Most of the other Planet Design watches can be found for sale online, but for this model, I haven't found a single hit on any of my searches. As the other watches seem to be pretty modern (like 2010s), I'd assume the same for this one, but maybe it's a little older then the rest.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Nixon - The Fidelity

I took a risk when buying today's watch. I got it second hand and it wasn't working, and the seller said it had been through the washing machine with their clothes, so doubted that it was fixable. A new battery later (a not so common CR1632) and the watch is fine, which is more surprising as I've been researching the watch, and there are quite a few reviews complaining that it isn't as waterproof as the manual states (100m)!

The Nixon Fidelity is an LCD watch, which is a smaller version of the Nixon Block watch. It has a square plastic case with edges which slope away from the glass. The inverse LCD has 3 lines, with the middle line for the time taking up half of the height of the display. The top line covers day and date, and is designed to show letters, and also displays the name of the mode when you are changing modes, while the bottom line just covers the seconds. The mode options (selected by the bottom left button) are chronograph, timer, and alarm, and there is a dual time option displayed using a different button (top right - press to display, and hold to switch). There is also an el-backlight which is shown with the top left button, and this is also the button to hold to enter time setting mode.

The watch comes with a wide fabric strap which is not too long, so beware if you have thick wrists. The back of the watch has the Nixon name/logo, the model name, and the Nixon theme of having a phrase as well, this time saying "Tried and true".

The model number for the watch seem to be A565 and I've seen a web review from 2009, so I'd guess this is around when it was released.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Sniper GV451

I've mentioned before that there seems to be a connection between many of the late 90s Japanese fashion watch brands. So far, I've mentioned a link between Deadman, Eccentric Classic, and Deep, but this is another one.

This watch is by a brand called Sniper. It is an unusual shaped ana-digi watch where the display has been rotated by 45 degrees and so have the buttons/crown. It has a 3 hand analogue dial at the top of the face, with a 4+2 digit LCD display below (with 4 large and 2 small digits). The watch modes are displayed on the LCD display, showing the day/date, dual time, stopwatch, or alarm options, selected by the bottom left button. From the feel of the material, I think the case is base metal, and is quoted as being 3atm water resistant. The case shape is elongated towards the top right, and sort-of reminds me of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

As this is an unusual design, it is easier to see when the same is used by other brands. I have seen this watch also made by J Axis, and there is also a Deadman version (which unfortunately I don't have yet - but would like if any of my readers is looking to sell one). The model number is GV451 which also follows the Deadman numbering system, hinting at them being linked in some way.

I would guess that this will be from the same time frame as the Deadman watches, based on the common design, so that would make it late 90s.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Boy London BOY-87-W

I've blogged many of the Boy London watches on this blog (-this is the 18th), but this one has a different style than the sets I've featured before.

This model is the BOY-87-W and it is a quartz analogue watch with a 3 hand dial design and is powered by a Japanese movement. There is also a small date window at the 3 o'clock position. It has a thicker metal case than normal, and has a rotating metal bezel around the dial. There are none of the Boy London logos on the front, but there are oval panels above and below the dial with the Boy London name (similar in style to a strap design from one of the other styles). The face is black with large white dots for the hours (with small minutes numbers just above each dot), and the Boy London name is printed on the dial.

The strap is different from the other metal watches from this brand. It has a double expanding clasp design, with a tiny Boy London logo on the clip, and the colours of the metal match exactly with the case.

The back of the watch is one of the standard designs with the Boy Eagle totem logo and the model name. Around the outside of the back plate, it has the quote "This is an original Boy London product. Any product not bearing this mark is not genuine" which I'm sure would have been copied as well if this wasn't genuine...

Most of the metal Boy London watches seem to have come from the 90s, but with this being a different design, it feels like it is newer, so I'm guessing 2000s.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Super Lovers 60's Classics - Blue Rectangle

Today marks the 20th post about one of my favourite lines of Japanese fashion watches.

This watch is another by the Super Lovers brand from Tokyo, Japan. They aren't originally a watch producer, but are a fashion brand specialising in club, cute, and punk influenced clothing and accessories. They have been around since 1988, and during this time have sold a large variety of different watches under the Super Lovers, Lovers House, or Lovers Rock labels. From what I've seen so far, the watches use many different manufacturers for the cases and modules, so I would think that each one has been commissioned directly rather than being collaboration pieces.

This model comes from a specific line of watches under the Super Lovers name called 60's Classics. The watch isn't from the 60's, but is a quartz analogue aitch with a 60s feel to the design.

The watch has a rectangular case design in silver metal which is quite deep and is angled down to the strap connections. The glass is also thick with a rectangular cut and sloped edges giving a shape like a gold bar.

The face is a shiny blue metallic design, with the Super Lovers logo (a heart in a superman shaped surround) embossed at the centre. Above the logo is the Super Lovers name, while below it says 60's Classics Quartz.

There are no other markings to tell when this watch is from, so I'll guess it is a 90s or early 2000s model (but in reality, I have no idea...).

Friday, 18 September 2015

Citizen Vagary CE90

Today, I'm in a bit meeting, so wanted a watch which looked pretty smart, but was still a little quirky.

The watch I picked is one of the watches from the Citizen Vagary line. The Vagary line is owned by Citizen Italy, rather than being a Japanese model. The watches do seem to be sold at retailers in Italy, but the majority of the watches I've seen are sold in Japan as overseas models.

This watch is a quartz analogue watch which has an unusual design with a subtle twist on the display.

There are many analogue watches on this blog where there is a chronograph feature, and the watches have 3 small dials on the face for hours, minutes, and seconds. This design has the 3 small circles on the face, but this time they are LCD panels and not dials. Each LCD display has 2 digits in silver on a white background, and can be used in various display modes. The LCD can cover time, date, and alarm, as well as the expected chronograph function.

The button arrangement is a little different too, with the top left button covering the mode selection (rather than the bottom left). To set the digital display, you hold the bottom left button until the seconds flash, and the same button chooses which numbers to change (with the bottom right button), while there is a crown for setting the analogue display.

The face of the watch is quite colourful, but in small splashes. The hour and minute LCD displays are surrounded by a red ring, while the ring around the seconds is yellow. Only the 4, 8, and 12 numbers are on the dial and are surrounded in blue, and the seconds hand is green.

The CE90 Vagary models seem to be pretty uncommon, as I only found 2 references, both of which were Japanese auctions.

The full model number is CE90-S043573, but unfortunately, there is no serial number to give me an idea of the date. As there is no information, the general state and design would suggest to me it comes from the late 00s. The only other information on the watch is that it is all stainless steel, has a Japanese movement, and is water resistant.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

United Colors of Benetton Backwards Numbers

When I first saw today's watch, it took a little while to work it out. It has an unusual design with all of the numbers in reverse. My first thought was this was an anticlockwise watch, but then I looked again and saw the progression of the numbers was clockwise. So this model has just the digits of the numbers in a mirror image of what they would normally be.

The watch is by United Colors of Benetton (but not one of the Bulova watches), who have featured many times on the blog now (and you can find a lot of brand info in my other posts). So far, my experience is that the United Colors of Benetton range includes many more quirky and unusual designs than the Benetton by Bulova models (which mainly have different colours and pictures).

This model, apart from the backwards numbers, follows a common Benetton theme for the face, having a world map across its width (this time in shiny red against a matt red background). It has a base metal case which looks to have been anodised in a matching red, and the watch also has a red leather strap with anodised red buckle.

The watch back is in stainless steel, and has the United Colors of Benetton name, and technical information on the materials, water resistance (10atm), and numbers which I can't tell if they are the serial number or model number.

I don't know when this is from, but my feeling is that these United Colors branded models are newer than the Bulova watches, suggesting it is likely from the 2000s.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Alive Athletics Dynasty

It seems that my collection is a home for many different Japanese fashion brands of watches, most of whom are not found very much outside of the Far East.

Today, I'm blogging a Japanese brand I've not covered before called Alive Athletics.

The Alive Athletics brand was started in Asakusa, Tokyo in 2002, but have been headquartered in Kamakura since 2009. They were founded to create irreplaceable timepieces in a saturated market, and strive to build distinctive high quality timepieces which match their customers exceptional tastes (according to their website). The brand produces more than just watches, and have made many collaborations with brands and artists from Japan, Korea, and the USA.

This model seems to be called Dynasty and is a quartz analogue watch with chronograph. The watch has a round 3 hand dial with 3 smaller dials on the face. The smaller dials cover the usual 24hr dial, and the chronograph seconds (bottom) and minutes (left). The face is done in black and white pattern with a stylized font for the numbers, and the bottom small dial has a logo which looks like a silhouette of a small tree. Around the dial is a bezel of silver/clear jewels giving the watch a sparkly look.

The strap is stainless steel, and has the double A logo for Alive Athletics on the first link on each side, as well as the tree logo on the clip. The tree logo is also found on the back where it shows the model name and also includes a quote "Your Time's Up. Don't Sweat The Technique".

For the date, the brand has been considerate and included it on the back, so I know this is from 2005.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Storm Transit

Today is number 27 in my Storm watch collection, and is a relatively simple design, so I expect this to be a short post.

This model is called Transit, and is a quartz analogue watch. It has a 3 hand dial design, with a design for the face and hands which is very recognisable as a Storm (but it's difficult to explain exactly why).

The face is surrounded by a blue, semi-transparent bezel which has been moulded with the minutes numbers (in 5's) with the Storm name instead of zero. The bezel actually rotates, which is a surprise as it looks purely decorative. The case is stainless steel, with a screw-on back, and has a water resistance rating of 50m.

The strap is unusual for a Storm watch, being a more solid bracelet design. It has metal sections (metal plate wrapped around the plastic core) with blue plastic wedges inbetween each segment. This makes the bracelet quite stiff, but also it means it needs to be cut to size (so make sure it's large enough if you buy one second hand).

I haven't found a date for the watch, but from its design I'd guess that it's a newer model from the late 2000s or early 10s.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Hashu Backlit Dial Watch

Last time I blogged one of these watches by the mystery brand Hashu, I thought I'd had a breakthrough, but it didn't help in the end. I got more information with today's Hashu too,  but it's still not helped too much in the search.

The watch is a quartz analogue model with a 3 hand dial design. Above the crown there is also a small button which activates an el-backlight on the face where the numbers are printed. The dial is pretty colourful in bright green and orangy red, and the surround is sloping and mirrored which makes it look a little like the dial is floating inside the watch. The case is moulded stainless steel with a curved finish, and it has a matching stainless steel strap (which reminds me of the Seiko Alba AKA watches), and is overall 3 atm water resistant.

There is more information on the back, as the watch says the Hashu brand name, but also states that they have been around since 1970. It also has the statement 'Nostalgic New York design' which is confusing as it suggests it is a Far East watch with New York design, and the use of atm not bar suggests it was aimed at the European market! I've tried searching online with this information, but the only thing I found out was that the information was used on several watches (and it didn't lead me to any brand info).

The is also a number on the back, 20/520-K which I guess is a model number. Date-wise, I don't know, but guess late 90s or early 00s.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Eccentric Classic LCD

Today, I'm back to championing the little known fashion watches again.

This is the third watch I've blogged by a brand called Eccentric Classic by medistore (or Medi Store depending on how you write it). I've not been able to find out more than I blogged last time, with medistore being a company which appears to normally specialise in body piercing accessories (but more can be found in my last post).

This model is a very different style than the previous two, having an LCD rather than dial design. The watch is rectangular, with gold coloured bars at the top and bottom of a black central square. Down the middle of the black square is a large 4 digit inverse LCD, split into two lines of two digits. There is a button to change the display on the right side, but there are only date and seconds displays.

The watch has the branding throughout, with the Eccentric name on the bottom of the face, and the buckle, and the full Eccentric Classic name is on the back plate, and the  back of the leather strap. There is no model number, or other identifying mark, with the only other information being it is all stainless steel and water resistant.

I don't know when the watch is from, but it is likely to be from between the 2000s and today.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Technos European Automatic TEGM906

Today's watch is a Swiss mechanical watch, which is a type that I've not featured so much on here so far.

This watch is by the brand Technos, who are a popular mechanical watch manufacturer, with a large presence in Japan. The Technos name first appeared in 1924 after being trademarked by a small Swiss watch manufacturer called Gunzinger Bros. The company built up a large market share until the mid 70s when the Japanese quartz watches began to dominate the market. The company then consolidated operations, joining an ad hoc groups sharing premises (which included Certina). Eventually in the early 80s, the name was sold to Heiwado & Co from Tokyo, who also licenced the name to Brazil allowing the watches to be manufactured there too. The brand is now Brazilian owned using Citizen movements, and has no Swiss manufacturing.

This model is the TEGM906, and is a 3 hand dial watch with an automatic mechanical movement. It has a sweep hand style with a 14,400 bph speed (4 movements per second), and there is also a date window at the 3 o'clock position. The weight is visible through the glass back, and this is engraved with a pattern, the Technos name, and the word Klassisch.

The case is a ribbed design made from stainless steel, and the ribbed design continues along the steel strap with hidden connector. It has a cut glass front, with a flat rectangular central section and angled sides. Overall, the watch feels well built, and has a water resistance of 10 bar.

On the dial there is also the text stating this is a European Automatic, which suggests to me that it is from the period after the company became Japanese, but maybe before it stopped Swiss manufacture (so between 82 and sometime in the 2000s). The use of bar water than atm also suggests that it was destined for a non-European market.