Back in the70s, some of the coolest and most expensive wrist watches
available featured glowing LED numbers.
Tiffany & Company,
just about every watch
company that wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology offered these
sometimes hulking watches. Consumers just couldn’t get enough of them! After a
while, as LED watches became less expensive and more common, they also got ugly
and very passé. Eventually, people returned to more traditionally styled watches
with mechanical dials. Well, as with every other fashion under the sun, what was
old is now new again – and the 70s are back with a twist.
Photo courtesy of Tokyoflash
I can hear you saying to yourself, "Hey! This watch is flashy, bold and
fun – I might wear it!" Well, maybe not in so many words, but that’s close
to what I thought when I saw it for the first time on the
Tokyoflash site. Now, before I go any further, let’s clear the air and say
Star Performer is a cool offering from a company with an unfortunate name: Pimp Watches.
There are going to be people that are turned off by the brand, and that is
entirely understandable. The good news is that the exterior of the watch doesn’t
say the word "pimp" anywhere but on the back-side of the case, so if the thought
of flashing that word from under your shirt-cuff gave you the heebie-jeebies,
then there is nothing to worry about.
Well of course, that is once you get past the wording on the collector tin
that the watch comes packaged in…
The watch itself is a pleasantly chunky, retro styled mass of water-resistant
stainless steel. Weighing in at 4.5 ounces (127g), the Star Performer has a
substantial feel. There is nothing cheap about the watch, but whether or not you
think that there is anything cheesy about it will be a matter of personal
The watch is held securely fastened by a locking deployment clasp. Pressing
the two moveable pushers in unison will detach the clasp.
A 1.5" tall x 0.75" wide thick mineral crystal window is surrounded by
stainless steel to comprise the 2.25" tall x 1.2" wide x 0.25" case of the
On the right side is a button for cycling through the watch’s modes and below
the button is an indention to press when setting the watch. For those of you
that don’t have experience with "old timey" set indentions, just about any
pointy object will work – such as an unfolded paperclip, the tip of a stylus or
Photo courtesy of Tokyoflash
The Star Performer has a unique face which consists of four columns of
silvery metallic numbers, each headed by an icon of a clock, sun, dollar sign or
martini glass. Most of the time, the watch will rest benignly on your arm, but
when you are ready to see the time, the light show will begin. Pressing the
button causes the LED lights to flash like a slot machine in brilliant reds,
yellows and greens behind the mirrored numbers. After the lights have run
through a cycle of random flashing, they will come to rest on the correct time.
There are no instructions included with the watch, but figuring out how to
set it is pretty easy…
Pushing the button once reveals the time. Pushing the set indention will
cause the selected numerals in the two left columns to blink. The hours can be
advanced forward by pressing the button repeatedly. Once you have set the hour,
you press the set indention again and repeat the process to select the minutes.
Pressing the set indention one more time will allow you to tell the watch if it
should be on 12 or 24 hour time. PM is indicated when the martini glass is lit
and the watch is in 12 hour mode.
So just for an exercise in telling time, the watch pictured directly above
this section is showing 5:58 PM.
The day and date are displayed numerically, by pressing the right button twice.
The sun icon will shine, and a number between one and seven will show in the far
left column to indicate the day. This key should be used in regard to days:
1 – Sunday
2 – Monday
3 – Tuesday
4 – Wednesday
5 – Thursday
6 – Friday
7 – Saturday
The dates are displayed in the two far right columns. As long as you remember
that Sunday is day number one, the system will make sense, but I would have
personally preferred if the day had been substituted with a month display.
All of these values can be properly set by pressing the set indention while
they are showing.
Pressing the button three times will reveal the year, as well as the dollar sign
icon in the top row.
This is not a watch for those who like to steal covert glances at their arm
to quickly check the time, because the button must always be pressed and the
light show undertaken before the time will be displayed. This may or may not be
a problem for some.
Once the button has been pressed to reveal the time, if the time is between
1:00AM and 7:00PM, the watch will light up once a minute for the next twelve
minutes. This is a fun feature that might just catch you off guard if you aren’t
expecting it. Between the hours of 7:00PM and 1:00AM, the Star Performer will
give a little impromptu light show every so often – kinda like something C3PO
would do, but without the sound.
The Star Performer is meant for a man, but I don’t think that it looks overly
huge on my 5.75" wrist. I had to remove four links and two pins in order to make
it fit, so if you have a small wrist you can expect to do something similar.
Without removing any pins, I believe that it should easily fit someone with a
wrist of up to 7".
This watch is water resistant, but I wouldn’t plan on going swimming or
diving in it. You can get into the shower or walk in the rain without worrying,
however – which may be more than could have ever been expected with many 70s LED
Overall, I think that the Star Performer is a neat watch with a cool retro
feel. It is a bit clunky, larger than most watches and very flashy – but
the person who likes that sort of thing will be intrigued by its styling. I have
been monitoring its time-keeping with my atomic clock over the last month, and I
have been pleased with the fact that the Star Performer is keeping accurate
time. So not only do you get a unique watch that is limited to only 1000 sold
outside of Japan, you also get one that is accurate and aesthetically
interesting. If you like items with a retro flavor that don’t function like
antiques, then this may be the watch for you.
Takes a CR2032 battery
Limited to 1000 sold outside of Japan
Colorful LED display keeps things interesting
Shows time, day, date and year
Easy to operate
Some might find the brand name offensive