The Gadgets Page

December 27, 2010

Skagen Disney Watch

Filed under: Watches — Michael Moncur @ 12:07 pm

I picked up this Skagen watch at Disneyland. It looks just like their normal 3-dial watch, but with two of the dials moved in to touch the third, forming a “hidden mickey”. It’s about the most subtle Mickey Mouse watch I’ve ever seen.

Disney Skagen Watch

March 19, 2010

Swatch Colour Codes

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Swatch Watches. I’ve written about them many times (even when I’m not writing about watches):

I originally fell in love with Swatch during the Eighties, so you can imagine my delight when the newest collection for Spring 2010 harkens back to those days. Here’s a commercial showing them off.

Benneton Ad EightiesThe models in this commercial look a lot like an old Benneton advert. The photo to the right was the closest I could find in my old advertisement collections. I didn’t realize how much I missed that sort of experimentation and daring with makeup and color until I saw it again in these Swatch ads. After years of bland neutrals, these exciting colors are enough to make me want to experiment with makeup again!

Here is a quick animation from the Swatch website:

I heard about these Swatches back in February and I immediately wanted them:

I had to wait a full month before I was able to get my butt to Vegas and buy as many as I had saved up money for. Here are my photos:

If you think I’m exaggerating about how like they are the Swatches from the Eighties, here they are next to their progenitors. Here is Straight Drops next to Coloured Love from the Fall 1988 Collection.

Swatch Spring 2010 Colour Codes Collection by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Now, here is Straight Drops next to Lobro from the Spring 1989 Collection:

Swatch Spring 2010 Colour Codes Collection by LauraMoncur from Flickr

All of these watches bring such a joy to me that when I saw a bunch of watches flash by on this Rihanna video for her song, Rude Boy, I just jumped with joy, thinking they were Swatches.

Upon closer inspection, they were the Casio G-Shocks that have been mackin’ on Swatch’s style for the last couple of years.

Rihanna Casio GShock

The Casio G-Shocks watches do have more features (or complications) than the Swatch Colour Code Collection, but they just don’t look as good as the Swatches. I’m so excited about this season’s Swatches and I can’t wait to collect them all!

December 23, 2009

A Beautiful Digital Watch

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

1979 Sears Christmas Catalog P170 by Wishbook from FlickrRemember when digital watches tried to be beautiful?

They actually came pretty close to it. This photo is from the 1979 Sears Christmas catalog. Back then, they were doing their darndest to make digital watches look good.

Now, they have the technology and ability to make digital watches beautiful, but they DON’T. The digital watch has been relegated to the sport watch category. Sure, Kenneth Cole, Diesel and Fossil have a couple of nods to the beautiful digital watch category, but only for men and the watches they’ve made available are USELESS. They take up the same amount of space as a fully functional heart rate monitor, yet they just show the time. Some of them show you the date, but you can’t depend on it.

Dear watchmakers of the world: I’m ready for my beautiful digital watch now!!

May 27, 2009

Watch Drawer Hack

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

If you haven’t noticed, I love watches and have too many to really keep nearby. My favorites were thrown in a drawer, which made it difficult to find them and easy to scratch their crystals. I decided to create a watch drawer so I could easily store my favorite watches. Here are the results.

Watch Drawer Hack by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This is a fairly easy project and the watch holders can also be used for bracelets. It took me one day to complete the project from start to finish.

Watch Drawer Hack by LauraMoncur from FlickrTools and Materials:

  • PVC Pipe (cut to the proper length at the home improvement store)
  • Foam Pipe Insulation
  • Scissors to cut the insulation
  • Closet bar holders (one for each watch holder you want)
  • Screwdriver with a short handle (to fit in the drawer)
  • SHORT screws that will fit in the closet bar holders (the ones that come with them are WAY too long)

Directions:

  • Measure the inner width of your drawer so you know the length of PVC pipes you need. Decide how many watch holders you want. I filled my entire drawer with them, but you can a few or many as you want.

  • At the home improvement store, buy a length of PVC pipe that is enough for as many watch holders you want. They can cut the pipe for you at the store and I HIGHLY recommend that you use that service. At first, I tried to cut the pipe with a hack saw. It worked, but the edges were so rough that it wasn’t pretty, so I went back to the store and bought some MORE pipe and let them cut it for me. The edges are much cleaner.

  • I used 1″ diameter PVC pipe and the corresponding 1″ insulation, which was the perfect diameter for my watches, but you might want a slightly larger diameter if you are a man or prefer your watches to be loose on your wrist.

  • The foam pipe insulation should be in the plumbing aisle as well. Choose the insulation that is the same pipe size as your PVC pipe. It is meant to be slit open so it can be fitted over existing piping, but you shouldn’t cut along that mark. If you keep it intact, it will look very nice when it is slid onto the PVC pipe.

  • The closet bar holders were in the closet section. You can get them in plastic or wood. Since my PVC pipe was white, the plastic matched very well. The watches aren’t going to be heavy, so you don’t have to worry about getting something that sturdy.

  • When I got back home, I cut the foam insulation to be almost as long as the PVC pipe (see photo above) and slid the pre-cut pipes into the insulation.

  • Make sure you measure where you’re going to put your watch holders carefully. If you notice, I have an extra hole in my drawer where I screwed up the first time and didn’t leave enough room for the watch holder AND the watch. I measured about an inch below the top of the drawer, so there would be room for the watches to fit when the drawer is closed. If you are going to have more than one watch holder, make sure you leave at least one inch between them as well.

  • Attach half of the closet rod holder onto the side of the drawer. I had to buy short screws that would fit in the closet bar holder holes because the ones that came with it were LONG and made to hold up a closet rod, not a light watch holder.

Watch Drawer Hack by LauraMoncur from Flickr

  • On the the other side of the drawer, I attached the other closet rod holder. Screwing in the screws was difficult for me because my drawer was so narrow that my normal screwdriver wouldn’t fit. I had to go back to the home improvement store to buy a stubby little screwdriver to use instead.

Watch Drawer Hack by LauraMoncur from Flickr

  • Add watches and place the watch holders into the drawer.

Watch Drawer Hack by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This set up has made it SO much easier for me to choose a watch each day. I hope it helps you as well.

March 18, 2009

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch by LauraMoncur from FlickrSometimes I realize that I’m writing an entry that only a SMALL number of people on the planet have any interest in, but when I’m one of those people, it makes it worth it to me. Last week, I finally got my Luar Swatch from Squiggly. The Luar is a VERY rare watch that is only sold the Swatch Luxury Store on the Via Della Spiga in Milano and on the Place Vendome in Paris. It is also the first Swatch with a moon phase.

Setting it was a bitch…

Since it keeps track of day of the week, month, date, time and moon phase, you can understand why it might be difficult to set a watch like this with only one crown. I scanned in the directions, but even with their help, it took Mike and I about ten minutes to figure out how to set the watch.

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The crown has three positions. The A position is when it’s pushed all the way in. You can’t set anything in this position. The C position is when it’s pulled all the way out. The B position is the click between all the way in and all the way out. My biggest problem is that I read the directions to mean that there were FOUR positions. I didn’t realize A was all the way in. I thought there were three pulled out positions.

To set the day of the week (Sun, Mon, etc.):

Pull the crown all the way out (position C) and turn the time to just after midnight. The setting will click to the next day. To advance it an additional day, you don’t have to turn the hands another twenty four hours. You can turn the hands backward to before midnight (you will see the day of the week setting click a little, but not go backwards), then turn the hands past midnight again.

I recommend setting the day of the week setting to YESTERDAY. You’ll see why later.

To set the date:

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch by LauraMoncur from FlickrPull the crown one click out (position B) and turn the crown away from you (clockwise). This will advance the day indicator (it looks like a second hand). To set the month, you have to keep turning until you get past an entire year. There is no separate way to set the month. To make the correct month show, you must keep turning the crown past every day of the year until you get to the correct day.

I recommend setting the date to YESTERDAY. I’ll explain why later.

To set the moon phase:

Pull the crown one click out (position B) and turn the crown toward you (counter clockwise). To find out what phase the moon is currently in, here are a couple of websites:

Once again, set it to the moon phase for YESTERDAY.

To set the time:

Pull the crown all the way out (position C) and turn the crown either away or towards you to set the time. Keep turning the time away from you (clockwise) until you get past midnight. Once you get past midnight, ALL the settings should change (day of the week, date and moon phase). Now you KNOW you’re on today’s date at just after midnight. Set the correct time and your Luar watch is ready to go!

Review

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch by LauraMoncur from FlickrMany of the Swatch enthusiasts were disappointed that the Luar is a battery powered watch instead of an automatic. With a price tag of approximately $450, it’s a little much to expect an automatic with a real moon phase. I’ve talked at length about what I desire in a watch here:

My desires have changed a lot since that day nearly four years ago when I went looking for the perfect watch. I still haven’t found it, but the Luar was able to do more than any other beautiful watch. Here were my criteria and how the Luar stands up to it:

How To Set the Swatch Luar Moon Phase Watch by LauraMoncur from Flickr

  • A beautiful watch: The Luar is definitely beautiful. It’s the moon phase and the simplicity of one crown that make the Luar look so good to me.
  • Women’s watch: The Luar is too big for my wrist. It’s a man’s watch, but I’ve given up on having a women’s watch with a day/date/month feature. If I ever find one, I’ll let you know.
  • Digital: I had to give up digital. NO ONE makes beautiful digital watches. I’ll just have to finally learn how to tell time with an analog watch.
  • Metal case and band: The Luar has that.
  • Time and Date on the display at the same time: This is one of the best features of the Luar.
  • Stopwatch: There is no stopwatch (chronograph), but I run with my iPod and Nike+ all the time now. Not only does it log my workout times, but it uploads them to my computer automatically. I don’t need a stopwatch on my wrist anymore.
  • Countdown Timer: There is no countdown timer, but my iPhone has taken the place of my need for one on my wrist.
  • Light: There is no light, but the hands are glow in the dark. That doesn’t help me at two in the morning when the glow has worn off, however.
  • Dual Time: I had to give this up as well.

So, with a rating of three features out of nine desires, the Luar looks like it just doesn’t stack up, but it’s the ONLY watch that has come this close. Keep trying, watch designers of the world. You just might make a watch specifically for me.

Update 04-29-13: Thank goodness I wrote this entry. The battery finally died on my watch and I had to reset it. The whole process was MUCH easier this time because of what I had written. On another note, I still ADORE this watch, but I have gone blind and can’t read the month or day of the week without reading glasses, so it’s less useful to me than some other watches I have. Doesn’t stop me from wearing it, though. If I REALLY need to know that info, I can pull out my phone.

January 2, 2009

Five Ways To Fix A Stuck Pixel On Your Screen

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,Watches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

JScreenFixI have a Nintendo DS with one pixel that just doesn’t work the way it should. It looks like a white dot (sometimes it changes color, but ALWAYS the wrong one) on my screen. It’s just irritating on games like Animal Crossing, but for more time sensitive games, sometimes it’s a killer. It became so irritating, that I eventually just got a new DS.

I found this awesome entry by Tina at MakeUseOf.com about how to fix a stuck pixel on your computer screen. If I had known about this, I might have been able to fix my Nintendo.

Most of the software that she recommends is for Windows machines, but there are a couple of techniques to use if you have a Mac. It’s called JScreenFix and it’s a website you can visit.

There’s even one that might work if it’s a different machine (like my Nintendo DS or a Sony PSP). Before you take that Mac back to the Genius Bar, try these techniques to see if you can reset your pixel on your own.

Via: HijiNKS Ensue – Geek Webcomic – Updates Monday, Wednesday and Friday » Archive » Catching Up

November 11, 2008

Motorcycles Made Out of Watch Parts

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 3:59 pm

These motorcycles made out of watch parts are really cool:

NAWCC Watch Motorcycles

You can see more here:

I love watches, so a little part of me cringes when I see this sort of thing. There used to be a beautifully functioning watch that made up that motorcycle. It makes me sad to think of all the dead watches that were sacrificed to make these.

NAWCC Watch Motorcycles

I know watches die of their own accord, but it almost feels like a coat made out of the fur of a beloved pet.

Via: CraziestGadgets.com » Miniature Motorcycles Made from Watch Parts

September 2, 2008

Casio Baby-G: Not Quite There, But Quite Serviceable

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 1:13 pm

Casio Women's Baby-G Watch #BG2001-7 at Amazon.comRemember two years ago, when I was searching for the perfect watch? You don’t? Then check it out here:

I was looking for a watch that did the following:

  • Women’s watch
  • Digital
  • Metal case and band
  • Time and Date on the display at the same time
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown Timer
  • Light
  • I would also like Dual Time, but I’m willing to give that up

The latest iteration of the Casio Baby-G doesn’t quite fit all my qualifications, but it’s very close. It is technically a women’s watch, even though it’s pretty large. You can see it takes up most of my wrist here:

Casio Baby-G

It is digital and displays the time and date on the face of the watch. It also has a stopwatch (chronometer), and countdown timer, light and dual time. In fact, it has features that I didn’t even know I wanted like an accelerometer that can notice when I’m holding the watch up and looking at it and change the display to show slightly bigger numbers when I do:

Can you tell the difference?

If you think this photo is the same as the previous one except that it’s a little out of focus, then you can understand why I find the accelerometer feature useless. The numbers are ever so slightly bigger in the second picture, but the difference is so minute that it makes me wonder why they bothered.

Their execution of dual time is clunky. Sure, the cool thing right now is to have your time attached to wherever you’re living, but that is an extra feature that hinders rather than aids time setting. Instead of making me find the nearest city in my time zone, how about you just let me tell you what time it is now? Is that alright?

Oh, and when I set the time in the other time zone, don’t make me choose yet another city. Just let me change the hours. Can you keep the minutes and seconds to match the original time line? No? Why is that? What planet do you live on? We’re all just separated by hours, not minutes. Is it really necessary for me to reset the minutes and seconds in EACH time zone?

Casio Baby-G

If you are in love with your shiny white Apple MacBook or your brand new 3G iPhone, then can have the Casio Baby-G to match. Otherwise, it’s just a bulky white watch that is close, but no cigar. It’s serviceable, but it is by no means the perfect watch.

June 17, 2008

The Swatch Irony Body and Soul

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Swatch Irony Body and SoulI am a big fan of Swatch, so I’m happy to learn that they are releasing a new mechanical watch. This one has a window on both the front and back so you can see the inner workings.

Say hello to the Swatch Irony Automatic “Body and Soul”. It’s a skeletonized mechanical watch where both front and back are clear to allow an unobstructed view of the ticking heart inside.

It only shows the time (no date, month or day of the week), but it’s a mechanical watch for less than 200 bucks.

August 9, 2007

Swatch Puzzle Motion Watches

Filed under: Watches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

As a teenager, my favorite watches were made by Swatch. I could barely tell time on them, but they were so cool, I owned several of them. I STILL own them today and most of them are still running. That’s how well-made they were.

Swatch is still ticking along. They just released a new line of watches called Puzzle Motion. They are like a kaleidescope of color moving on your wrist.

Here are their videos showing how the watches look:

Click here to see the video

Embed this video on your websiteDownload this video for your iPod

If I have to have a watch that doesn’t do anything but tell time, at least it should show me pretty pictures.

Here is a video of the Swatch Puzzle watch in person:

Retro Swatch Ads after the break: (Continue Reading…)

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