Alba Y666-5000 (Soccer)

Alba Y666-5000 (Soccer)

Seiko may never have released a game watch under their flagship brand, but under their Alba sub-brand, they made a reasonable number.

As the most popular sport in the world, Soccer (or Football if you’re in the UK) has existed in electronic form since the 1970s (and maybe earlier) in LED and VFD handhelds and in the earliest home video consoles.

Casio did a Soccer watch (and calculator), Nelsonic did one, there’s at least one no-name brand, and then there’s the Alba Y666.

It came in two flavours, one with a white bezel insert and one with a black insert (this one has the black) in a plastic case, plexiglass screen and rubber strap, but a metal bezel and caseback.

Function-wise it offers 12 hour (AM/PM) time and day/date display on the main screen, hourly chime and daily alarm, 10/100 stopwatch, a backlight and THE GAME.

The game starts simply enough, your opponent kicks balls to you, and you move to one of four positions to head/kick them into the goal.

Sounds pretty easy, and it is — up to the first 20 points — then the wind sock starts flicking backwards and forwards and it starts getting difficult quickly.

For starters it gets quicker, and then there’s more than one head/kick required to get the ball to the goal so you’re back and forth on those buttons a lot — much like several of the widescreen Nintendo Game & Watches.

Good fun and you get three lives. There’s no faster, harder Game B but it doesn’t really need it. It’s a bit slow in the beginning, but once you hit 20 points watch out.

This one wasn’t working (dead battery) when it arrived and the first battery I tried made no difference. The second gave mixed results and it kept resetting.

Reason being, Albas need a lot of juice. These were just dollar store batteries so they maxed out at about 2.85v. I thought this might be the problem so grabbed an Energizer CR2016 which was outputting 3.25v and had no further problems with it. The module needed a bit of adjustment and the front buttons cleaned of dust as they were a bit intermittent, but now it’s 100% and a rare watch to boot!

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