Friday, 6 February 2015

Motel vs United Arrows Astrodigit LCD Chronograph

Today's watch is an unusual model from  Japanese fashion brand which has been heavily inspired by a 70s watch.

The watch is by the Tokyo based fashion brand United Arrows (or UA), in collaboration with Motel (which I assume is either a store, a designer, or a brand but can't find anything on). I got to know about United Arrows through my 1481010 collection as they had a collaboration model with Citizen at that time which seems to have been linked with the 1481010s.

This model is called the Astrodigit LCD Chronograph. The name is a little strange, as the watch has no stopwatch function which is what we normally understand with the name chronograph, but technically a chronograph is a device for graphically measures increments of time, so it just fits into that definition (but so does every watch). The back of the watch says this is the "Dege-watch Project First Model", and I've spelled it exactly as shown on the watch. I haven't found what that project was about as the exact phrase gets no web hits. Overall, there is just a time (5 1/2 digits) and date display, and there is also an el-backlight feature.

Reading online, there was some controversy on a Japanese forum and blog when this first came out (around 2006) due to its similarly to the Zodiac Astrodigit LCD from the 70s. The UA version does look similar at a glance, but is a little different in that this has an angular case rather than the rounded case of the Zodiac. Apart from these two sites, there are no other obvious web hits.

From the translation of a blog, it appears that this watch might have had a full recall by United Arrows due to a problem with the strap (the blogger had gone to a UA store to look at it compared to the Zodiac but was told by the shop assistant that they had been recalled). There is no information suggesting the watch was re-released, so if this is true, this may be an incredibly rare watch!

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