Ever heard of the famous watch manufacturer Platron? No? How about Andros? No, me neither.
But this very rare game watch, in the style of Nelsonic watches like Q*Bert, Pacman, Frogger and more, was released under both those brands — and both in Argentina.
If you’ve ever seen a Jungle Kong game watch, and there are a few around (although not many), they were probably branded either Trafalgar or Meister Anker (and the Anker ones often only have the symbol of their logo as a brandmark, not their name).
The Andros version appeared on eBay in November 2018, was non-working, with a broken/repaired strap mount, and no straps.
The asking price was a little too high for me (as it must have been for all bidders since it failed to sell) so I contacted the seller after the auction had finished to see if they would negotiate a lower price. Turns out I wasn’t the only one as the seller said it had just been sold — darn it!
He mentioned he had another, ostensibly in better condition, with straps but no caseback. I ummed and aahed about the price (shipping from Argentina is expensive!) but we agreed on a price and I eagerly awaited its arrival.
Expensive postage doesn’t always guarantee fast delivery and it was a good few weeks before it arrived. Condition wasn’t great but it is a rare watch and was mostly complete (no battery holder as well as no caseback and missing some screws as well).
I was keen to try casting a new caseback by copying another but the trouble with rare watches is that it’s even rarer to find someone with the same watch willing to post their caseback halfway around the world for you to pour silicone into it!
Even though it wasn’t a Nelsonic, it looked to have an identical form factor to the Nelsonic Pacman watch. These aren’t overly rare, but they are expensive and parts-only Nelsonics are rarer still. But I was able to pick up two Pacmans in a single lot, one scratched-up but kind of working and the other not working at all, which I hoped I’d be able to do enough to to end up with a working, complete Pacman and working, complete Jungle Kong.
See the Pacman watch page to see how successful this was…
The Platron did nothing when a battery was inserted, even when the positive terminal of the battery was bridged with tweezers (the battery cover is quite unique and requires an extra pin on the side to touch the positive contact on the circuit board.
The module was difficult to remove — there’s only one of the seven case screws that holds the module to the outer casing, but that was the last one I removed of course.
The upconverter for the speaker sounds is glued to the upper casing as well (and is hidden under a sticker) but having seen a wrecked Pacman watch where someone had obviously ripped the upper case off destroying the upconverter, I was ready for this.
Worst of all, the two speaker springs, which are glued beneath the upper casing onto the circuitboard, had been pulled and stretched preventing the upper casing from being removed, so I had to cut the springs (looks like some soldering coming up).
Once the module was in pieces, it needed some cleaning due to old corrosion and accumulated dust, but all traces tested good and, once reassembled and the battery reinserted, the watch came to life and all segments were present on the display — a great result, as I was concerned this was going to have turned out to be a very expensive parts watch.
There’s not a whole lot known about this game — there’s a handheld version by Cresta which looks identical — and looks to be a bit of a one-off (much like the Diamant Burger Time – try Googling that one) which is unfortunate because the game is FUN!
There are two games – A & B – just like the Nintendo Game & Watch series.
You start at bottom-right and have to make your way to Kong at top-left. On the way you must jump barrels and wait for vines to appear so you can climb to the next level.
Once you’ve made it to Kong, you hit his platform with your hammer, get some bonus points, and start again. Hitting the platform three times destroys it and Kong plunges to his doom, which is the ultimate aim.
You get three lives, and if it’s anything like other game watches of this kind, get them replenished at 1000 points (I haven’t got that far yet).
When that gets too easy, there’s Game B which isn’t only faster but also introduces birds to avoid that fly along the middle level and will kill you if you are jumping a barrel at the time and inadvertently hit one.
You see the high score for each game when you choose which you’re going to play, and there’s an alarm too — making this even more like a Game & Watch in wristwatch form!
It’s challenging and addictive — definitely in the top 5 of all the game watches I’ve played.
Here’s a couple of videos of gameplay — GAME A:
and GAME B: