Seiko had (at least) two budget brands in the 1980s – ALBA and Pulsar – and both produced game watches, something the parent brand never did.
While ALBA had a string of game watches (including the Y755 and Y760) Pulsar only produced a couple. Interestingly the only other Pulsar game watch I’m aware of (the Y760) is identical to the ALBA of the same model number, and there was also a hard-to-find ALBA version of this one, the Y765. ALBA also did two other Y765 watches, the unusual game called Mamagon, or Dragon Lady and the very rare American Football game. To add even more confusion, another version of the Y765 appeared identical to the Pulsar called Space Magic, produced by Yema, a French watchmaker which for a time (1998-2008) was owned by Seiko.
History aside, let’s take a look at the watch. One layer of the LCD displays the standard watch functions found in scores of Seikos from around that period; time, day/date, alarm/chime, and chronograph.
The other layer holds all the game graphics, and mighty impressive what they’ve managed to squeeze into a pretty small space. Another odd aspect of this watch is how you can often find one for sale, I’ve yet to see a manual for one. Fortunately the game is quite easy to work out, although you are always left wondering if there is some added depth to it, points-wise, if you were to play to a certain strategy. Chances are there’s not, but there’s always that lingering doubt!
Selecting game mode starts a demo of sorts, where you see the current high score, and rockets launching, and flashing when they reach their zenith, Pressing either the left or right button on the front of the watch starts the game.
If you have the alarm or hourly chime turned on you will get sound in your game; if you don’t, you won’t.
Your ship (you have three lives) starts on the bottom right of the screen and you must manoeuvre it through flashing rockets (one point for each), to finish at your ‘base’ at the top left where you will be awarded an additional three points and it all starts again. You can access the base when you have collected three or more points from flashing rockets.
It’s the kind of game where it seems you should be able to score in the hundreds pretty quickly, but it becomes tricky quickly and if you’re a fraction early hitting a flashing rocket you lose a life.
It’s fun, and looks like a business watch normally, until you hit game mode. I’ve seen these with a variety of bands. I believe the original is silver with gold inserts; mine is silver with black inserts which I think looks excellent, but could see how the silver/gold combo could also work given the gold crystal background and yellow-ish LCD reflector.
Get your hands on one if you can. It’s the closest to a Seiko game watch you’ll ever get!
See this game watch in action –