Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

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  • Sunday, October 18th, 2009 - 11:44 pm
  • Casio JC-11 [880] Jog & Walk Calorie Animated Running Man watch

  • A lot has happened in my personal life in the past 2 months, which meant no time for updates on this website. Since it has been a very personal time for me, I thought it would be most appropriate to return to the site by showing off a personal favorite of mine.

    So here is today's watch, Casio's JC-11 with module 880.



    Like most Casio collectors, I started collecting because I wanted to find my childhood favorites. For me, I owned TWO Casio watches growing up. The TS-150 and the JC-11. When I started collecting, I thought I would just find the TS-150 and JC-11 and stop. I grossly underestimated my tendency to take things to the extreme. :D

    ***The TS-150 is the Japanese version of the ever popular TS-100. Likewise, the JC-11 is the Japanese version of the JC-10. (You can see all those models in my collection page.)

    The JC-11, being a non-US model, is rather uncommon in the US. (The JC-10 is more common in the US) Despite its rarity the watch was surprisingly easy to find for me because I got in touch with a collector in SE Asia just as he was about to sell his watch. I was in the right place at the right time. Of course, I had to trade a rather rare Seiko to get it. :p

    Anyway back to the watch!

    The JC-11 has a completely round design, which is a drastic departure from the square rectangular shapes that dominated Casio's design in the early/mid 80's. One of the most interesting things to note in Casio's history is their evolution in design (shape, color, etc), and perhaps I'll be able to cover that in a future article.



    Given Casio's minimalistic waste-no-space designs from the 80's, I thought that the round shape meant a round module. Well the inside module is actually rectangular (as you can see by the area jutting out on the backplate), so there is no technical reason for this watch to be round. There is a lot of empty space and lots of extra plastic inside the case, suggesting a purely aesthetic reason for the round case. Perhaps the case is more durable, but I would say this much extra plastic is overkill. Besides, the WR rating is only 50m.



    There are several other design features to note: There is a "ridge" design on the sides of the case, making it look slightly more rugged and sporty (by late 80's standards).



    The front buttons are dramatically raised, so that they are very easy to push. The placement and execution of these front buttons are reminiscent of old Timex ironman watches, yet I find these Casio buttons to be far superior in terms of usability and durability. The buttons on my old Timex watches have broken off, but my Casio buttons are still hanging on!

    Also, it's not easy to accidentally press the buttons because they have a rather stiff response and will not activate until you press them in all the way. Overall, the buttons are a huge advancement from the predecessor J-50/51 jogging watches which had very unresponsive front buttons.

    The side buttons are a different story. On the plus side, they are large, easy to push and work very well. BUT, their placement makes absolutely no sense to me. WHY is the mode button on the TOP right? Sure it is easy access using my index finger, but I would much rather prefer using my thumb.

    Is this a handsome watch? Honestly, I don't know what to make of it. If you stare at it long enough it'll remind you of a teddy bear. Nice round ears, big nose, etc. On the other hand, it's ugly and just a bit too unconventional. But I still like it a lot. The display is laid out rather nicely, so that you can see the time, month, day and date all at once. There is no option to see the year, because you can't set the year on this watch. That means manually adjusting for leap years, but that also means it will never become obsolete!



    Oh and it can be switched to military 24h time. For some people this is an important feature, although I never use it.

    Sometimes, Casio's execution of a feature looks and functions like it was rushed into production. But in this case, the "jog & walk calorie" functions are pretty comprehensive although complicated.

    So how does it work? Well, everything happens in the main stopwatch mode. First you have to input your stride (cm), age (year) and weight (kg). (For the JC-10, the units are inches/year/lbs.)



    Unfortunately the watch has pre-set limits, so there are no settings for you if you are under 13 or above 70. You can still put in whatever numbers you like, but the calorie calculations will be wrong. There are similar limits in stride and weight.

    You also need to select a pace,



    and select whether you are jogging or walking.



    Using the above information, the watch will calculate the amount of calories you are burning (kcal) OR the number of steps you have taken, OR the distance you've covered (km in JC-11, miles in JC-10).

    The pace setting has two purposes. If you turn the pace sound on, the watch will sound a beep at preset intervals to help you run/walk at a steady pace. This could get a bit annoying, so you can turn the sound off. Either way, the pace setting is used in the cal/dist/step calculations.

    One useful alternative use of this watch is to use the pace function as a metronome. It'll work anywhere from 100 bpm to 200 bpm.

    BUT THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS!

    Step right up and witness the wonder of LCD animation.



    Do you see that little man on the upper right corner? That little man in the upper right corner is not just for show. Well he is just for show... Whenever the stopwatch is active, that little guy will run. As you can see from the stills above, it's a simple 3 frame cell animation. But when it's put into fliud motion, it really looks like the little guy is running.

    What's really cute is that he runs in "jog" mode,


    but walks in "walk" mode! I don't care what Casio says, nobody looks like that walking!


    And while I was preparing for this article I found out that the running animation is exactly twice as fast as the walking animation. Unfortunately the guy doesn't synchronize with your pace setting, and always runs at the same speed no matter what the pace setting is.

    It's a really simple animation, and very primitive in terms of today's technology. But that little guy captured my attention 20 years ago and he never ceases to mesmerize me.



    Besides the fully loaded jog & walk functions, the watch comes with the standard hourly chime and daily alarm.



    Unfortunately the watch does not have any light, and it also lacks a timer--a tragic step backwards from the J-50.



    One of my favorite features of this watch, is the fact that the little man will stay animated in all modes as long as the stopwatch is activated. Sometimes, I turn the stopwatch on even though I have nothing to time, just to see him go.



    Look at him go. I just never get tired of watching him run!

  • Filed under: watch
  • Comments!
  • » Hi all,
    Still use one of these, it is my second one.
    Now what would be a suitable replacement in 2009
  • by: Steve Davies, submitted Sunday, October 25th, 2009 - 2:43 am
  • » Hey Steve, Probably a Casio JC-30 as there's nothing new that has this charm. They can be found on Ebay if you look for a bit - they are similar in functionality but the JC-30 but also have a countdown timer, a backlight light and allows you to run the functions simultaneously (steps, consumption and distance) rather than only one selection.
  • by: Paul from down under, submitted Friday, November 13th, 2009 - 3:55 am
  • » Your website is AWESOME! I had a watch just like this when I was in middle school (back in 1994). The jogging pacer was an awesome metronome for my piano practice!
  • by: austin, submitted Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 - 11:06 pm
  • » I am using such Casio JC-11-1AVZ model rceantly.
    But i did not found its manual for calculate Kcal etc.
  • by: Mohammad Saeed , submitted Saturday, June 5th, 2010 - 1:19 am
  • » Could someone please inform me what the battery specification is? I would love to fire my old stop watch up again but am unsure what battery it requires.
  • by: Alan, submitted Friday, June 25th, 2010 - 10:40 am
  • » Thanks a lot for all this informations!
  • by: NoĆ©, submitted Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 - 1:09 pm
  • » Fantastic. I bought this watch at least 13-14 years ago and promptly lost it. Yesterday I came across it in absolutely mint condition and am amazed that its still going, it had only lost a couple of minutes.
  • by: Greg Daniel, submitted Sunday, December 5th, 2010 - 6:02 pm
  • » The other day I found mine in an old plastic bag at the back of a drawer. The battery was still good and the guy still runs! It is a novelty now because the strap has disintegrated but I'm determined to find a manual on-line and update the settings.
  • by: Frank Gigliotti, submitted Monday, January 3rd, 2011 - 11:21 pm
  • » Hello

    can someone tell me how to repalce battery.

    Wbr
  • by: saab, submitted Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 - 11:54 am
  • » It's my first and only Casio! I cried to convince my mother to buy it. And now then I'm thirty and I saw it still working perfectly, I think it's the best watch I could ever have!
    Love it!
  • by: Giuseppe, submitted Saturday, March 10th, 2012 - 12:12 pm
  • » How can I clean it? buttons don't work well!
  • by: Giuseppe, submitted Saturday, March 10th, 2012 - 12:17 pm
  • » Good article.
    Have you got any user's guide? I need to set the time.
  • by: wasylu1, submitted Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 - 2:33 am
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