There is something about the red light readout on these watches that I am drawn to along with the retro cases they are normally displayed in. LED watches were only around for a relatively small period in time as the invention of the LCD watches at a much lower cost put an end to the battery eating LED. LED watches are cool nether the less despite not being able to read them in sunlight and the inconvenience of pressing a button to light the display. There are some very highly sought after LEDs from Omega, Bulova and of course Pulsar of which James Bond once wore.
This is my favourite LED watch. made by Trafalgar back in the 70s. Ultra retro design and this example is in near perfect condition.
This was a 4 month project. I bought as a non runner where the readout would only display one digit. I spent weeks trying to get the module to work including changing the oscillator but my electronic skills a poor and I could not get to work. I hunted for a further 3 months until suitable donor to become available with the same module but this time functioning properly. This watch as three buttons, one recessed into the case to set the time, another to display the time, and the last to display seconds and the date (no day). This second feature was
I think you have to agree that the end result a stunning watch!
Here is another example of a retro LED and again a very futuristic look. I bought this one with the seller advertising “may need a battery change”. Learnt my lesson. When I opened the caseback I was met with a corroded module and two batteries probably dating from the 70s.
This was another LED that I had to find a donor module but as this module was a National Semiconductor module (found in many LED brands) it did not take me very long. A simple module swap and now it glows red.
This is a super retro LED watch straight from the 70s. On the caseback it says Beltime Watch Computer which by today’s standard shows just how far we have come in 40 years. This watch is how it came to me I have done nothing except re-finish the bracelet with high polished centre links to accentuate the chrome finish on the case. Has a look of a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica.
Here is another great retro Trafalgar LED. Straight from the 70s. A really good find this one. Sold as a non runner and as you can see from the photos the batteries have leaked and corroded badly and for some time. Fortunately I think this must have been kept dial up because usually the corrosion gets onto the module circuits and ruins it. I was able to strip down and clean all corrosion from the battery terminals and some from the board. I then got it checked out on a multi-meter by a friend of mine. New batteries fitted and its in full working condition. The real bonus is that it was only £14.00. Now its running it would be worth treble this, not that I would sell it. I am starting to get a passion for the LED watches!
I can’t say allot about this LED watch . It was sold to me by a member of my Facebook group he found it for sale in a market and knew I liked LED so offered it to me. It is quite small and there is no identifying marks either on the case or within the movement however it does give me allot of options. It will display time, date, seconds and the day abbreviated to three letters. I find this quite unusual as some only give you time and seconds.
This is my gold filled Compuchron LED watch which is not to be confused with Computron from Bulova! Compuchron was a Japanese watch company that used the Huges LED module which I have to say is outstandingly bright. I was gifted this watch from a friend and it gets quite a bit of wrist time in the evenings.
This is my Commodore LED watch, a blast back to my childhood as I used to play on a Commodore computer back in the early 80s. I bought this from a friend who got it at a watch fair. He knew I wanted one of these badly so sold it to me. These are often found on eBay but in a variety of conditions, from new & boxed to completely beaten. The signed logo on the screen is often worn off so I was lucky on this one.
Here is yet another Trafalgar LED! bought in a joblot of digital watches and took a gamble as it was this one I wanted. With new batteries it worked however the pusher was slightly bent and it took some work to straighten it so it would make good contact on the board. I then reapplied the logo with some metallic silver paint and then had to repair the bracelet which was basically in tree pieces. I am quite happy with this one. Looks a bit like a smart watch!
Here is my collection of jump hour watches. What I like about these is the way watchmakers have created a digital readout using mechanical movements. Jump hour or rotating disc watches have been around for a very long time and I have seen very early examples on pocket watches however the genre I like is the 70s crazy designs which were very fashionable at that time. In some ways I like to think that this was the watchmakers retaliation for the LED & LCD what were emerging at the time however I am unsure if that is really factually correct. You can find many varieties of Jump Hour from so many brands many of which have now gone. Allot are powered by pin lever Swiss off the shelf movements too.
As much as I like the look and idea of them on a practical level I find them difficult to read especially if you are in a hurry.
Here is my favourite Jump Hour by Sorna a Swiss brand with a BFG158 movement inside. I bought this from a contact I have in the Philippines and it was not working correctly. I found out that the stud & regulator carrier had been clued to the balance bridge and that also the regulator pins were missing. Although the watch ran it would run far to slow. I also noticed that the auto wind rotor would not wind the mainspring.
I was fortunate to quickly find a donor movement BG158 for a low price. Once arrived and examined I soon realised that the Sorna was missing a wheel that drove the autowind mechanism to wind the spring. I fitted the donor and the balance and it has since ran perfectly.
All watches have a dial but I like to think this one has a face! indecently its a second hand that spins in the middle. Many have asked if its a compass.
This Buler Super Nova had been on my wish list for a while as I love jump hours and this one especially because its bold and big and has a second hand rotating in the centre. Finding one at the right price was difficult. Considered a fashion watch in its day it was fitted with a baumgartner 582 pin lever movement. These things are designed not to be serviced. The one I won needed a new click to hold the tension in the mainspring. I luckily found a donor movement and soon installed the click but the watch would still not run. I dismantled it cleaned and reassembled twice before it would finally run without stopping. It did not show great traces on the timergrapher but then I did not really expect it to. It does however keep good time over 24 hour periods when I wear it. I have to say that this is my favourite Jump hour in my collection.
Here you see the most unusual shaped jump hour I think I’ve ever seen the Buler jump hour. This really is a rotating disc watch rather than jump hour as the hour does not jump when changing. It has an automatic movement powering the three discs. What is also interesting is that is has a seconds disc. Rarely have I seen this and on this Buler the seconds rotating is very smooth. Case is completely bonkers shape and the odd times I do wear it I get some rather funny looks. This really is just one for the collection rather than everyday wear.
I have now also seen on eBay imitations of this very watch brand new and most likely from China. If your looking for one make sure it is a Buler original. They do come up for sale every so often.
I know very little about this unusual jump hour watch. LOV was a French manufacturer long since gone out of business. The watch is powered by a manual wind movement and keeps very good time. The dial is very unusual tiger eye type of colouring with a small orange rotation second hand. Time is shown digitally on its display, I have to say though when wearing that it is quite hard to read. I bought this purely for the retro looks and have not seen another example of this retro jump hour to date but would love to.
If you have one or know anything about LOV brand please get in touch.
This is my first jump hour I purchased. Manufactured by Smiths as part of their Astral range. It is a manual wind watch and the movement is very basic but functional. It is also quite a large watch from this era as most are a lot smaller. This is a nice watch for my collection however I rarely wear it as I always choose others before this one.
Here is my Yakota Jump Hour. I bought this from a member of my Facebook Group who also sold me the LED. I know nothing of this brand or can find anything on Google! that said what a lovely example it is the condition is almost new! bidirectional grain in the case and bracelet nice clear crystal and no colour fading of the dial.
I do were this one quite allot as I really enjoy the look.
If anyone knows anything about this brand please get in touch.
Not much to say about this one, It was offered to me by a friend in the Facebook group and I made an offer that was accepted. Its a great big watch that in many ways is hideous however I like it for that! not something I would wear particularly but its nice to have in the collection due to that crazy 70s styling!
What a nice looking Jump hour this is. I found a listing on eBay which had two the same claiming both were not running so for spares & repairs. I won the auction and was the only bidder! when they turned up I was astounded because they are complete new old stock. Both without any wear only some scuffs on the acrylic crystal which was easy to buff out with Polywatch. I wound both but only one worked. The other I opened the back and dropped some oil onto the pivots. Still nothing. However they are 1 jewel pin pallets and I tried my usual trick which is to oil the pallet and escape. Within seconds it started back up again and has not stopped since. One I will sell (SOLD) and the other I will keep. I will make profit too which is a bonus meaning my watch is for free!
LCD Digital watches
Here you will find some examples of 1980s classic digital watches. These are the types of watches I wore at school. Lightweight, comfortable and comfortable with allot of cool features. I am now starting to take a liking to digital watches where often I would have walked away from them I now find I am wanting to learn more and attempt to fix the non runners.
This watch was an ongoing project for nearly a year! I have bought in total 3 of this watch all with faults so picked them up very very cheap on eBay. I liked the case design and thought it was retro enough for my collection. This then became a challenge to get one working. My last purchase showed promise as you can see in the photo but the readout was not right and was counting like the Predators arm computer before he tries to blow up Arnie!
I could not get it working as I dont really have a clue on electronic watches but I spent a whole evening and used parts from all three watches to finally get one to work. This was very satisfying in the end. On the wrist it looks great and has a solid stainless bracelet which is very well made and better quality than any on my Seiko’s!
I was gifted this calculator watch by a member of my Facebook Group. I have to say I love it as I always wanted a calculator watch when I was at school in the late 70s early 80s. I never owned one back then but I am sure glad to have one now. NSC stands for National Semiconductor who I know from some many generic LED modules I find in my 70s LED collection. I dont know much more than this so if your reading this and you know a bit of history behind the company I would love to hear from you.
Here is my Supersonic LCD Digial watch. I bought this because I liked the look of it has a look of the Seiko PanAm which is highly collectable. Also because its called Supersonic! It was not working and as I am starting to taking a liking to fixing these I saw this as a good learning experience as it only cost £6.00. The board looks early as its a ceramic board with plastic housing. I stripped the plastic surround off cleaned the board with IPA alcohol with a fibre pen. Removed the rubber contact strips on the LCD and gave them a good clean. On rebuild it still would not work but after playing with the battery retaining spring it finally burst into life. The alarm function runs on a peizo electric principle using a contact from the battery to touch the copper ring on the caseback and with the coiled spring on the plastic surround touching the white quartz centre. when the current is passed through it causes the disc to vibrate harmonically to produce the sound.
Absolutely fascinating considering these were made extremely cheap and caused the quartz crisis in Switzerland yet they have lasted some 30 odd years and still work providing there is no battery leakage.
Here is a LCD I found in a job lot of watches I bought to sell on. Looks very basic but nether the less I decided to try to repair. I found allot of battery leakage inside but fortunately it seemed relativity new as the acid was still wet. Considerable cleaning was required and it took days of trial and error before the display would finally work properly. It gave me great satisfaction to get it to work and as it was the second ever LCD to repair I decided to keep it for now at least.
Again looks very early in LCD terms.
Here is a lovely gold Sandoz LCD Chronograph Swiss watch. This has to be my favourite lcd watch I have. A non runner it came to me in good condition and in its original box! downside was it would not work and had a large deep scratch on the screen. I dismantled the movement and cleaned everything except the rubber screen contacts which looked to be glued on and I did not want to chance taking them off. On rebuild it still would not work but the light would. I did my now infamous trick of keeping it in my pocket. 5 hours later it fired up and has not stopped working since! the screen was the biggest challenge to me as it is made of mineral crystal glass rather than the easier acrylic material. I used cerium oxide powder and 6.3. & 1 micron diamond lapping pastes on a hard felt wheel using my rotary tool. I had to stop every 1 minute to let the glass cool as I didnt want to take a chance of it overheating and cracking as a replacement would be impossible. The end result speaks for itself.
I know nothing about this brand or watch really. Came with an LED I was after sold as non runner but I put a battery in it and it fired up. I changed the bracelet for something more in keeping with the era as it came on an expanding bracelet. Nice chrono digital. One melody alarm which is not loud but the fact it still works after 30 odd years is surprising.
Here is another icon watch in my opinion as this was Seiko’s first attempt at a calculator watch and I would say that they got it right first time. I have done nothing to this watch and its in the condition I bought it. This will date from the 1970s which is quite remarkable really. Very solid construction with large display that you can use up to 8 digits on the calculator. Bracelet is probably the best one of all my lcd watches. Its thick stainless steel that is very comfortable to wear.
Here is the iconic Seiko C359-5009 calculator watch. Stunning design although not all that practical to use. The was the second generation of Seiko Calculators the first being the C153 which I also own. This one came to me as a non runner and the battery had rusted in its compartment. However it appeared to have not leaked. All that was required to get it working properly was a very good clean of the case pushers and the circuity inside.
Very proud moment when it fired back into life and is now one of my most worn LCD watches. I has a great alarm function and an hourly bleep which takes me right back to the 1980s
Here is my Seiko C359-5010, this one shares the same module as the better looking on here on this page C359-5009 (Subjective) however it came up for sale very cheaply because it was missing the battery hatch. Seller said it was working when a battery was held in place. I made an offer and a few days later the watch arrived. I set about finding a hatch so reached out to my Facebook group and a few others I am in. Sure enough a fellow Seiko enthusiast in Australia got in touch and posted a spare to me. How kind (Thank you Max)
within a week it had travelled all the way from the other side of the world to my doorstep where it was fitted. It was missing the rubber gasket so I used some plumbers tape which does the same job.
Watch is working perfectly so I just gave it a good clean and light polish. Very happy indeed to complete the set of these.
Here is my Seiko 0634-5009 from 1976. This is another iconic and historical watch for LCD collectors as the 0634 module was the worlds first ever lcd chronograph. So all other chronographs from every brand came after this particular watch. I had to find a donor watch to scavenge the screen from as the working one I bought had an issue with its polarising filter which is clued onto the screen and had aged to give a rainbow affect which hindered viewing the time. This is a great solid and chunky stainless steel watch, very well constructed and again with a thick and well engineered bracelet.
This is a Seiko M929-5010 from July 1980 and is in near mint condition especially for its age. Well made and slimline it fits nice on the wrist. At first a segment was not working in the display but a quick strip down and clean with alcohol the circuit board and now it works perfectly. As a stopwatch, a count function which I have not seen before and then the usual light, day & date function.
Cracking LCD watch this one.
This Trafalgar LCD dates from 1977 as you can see this on the guarantee which was included in the box making it a quite early LCD watch. Trafalgar was a British company who made all types of watches but for me I love their retro LEDs and now some of their LCDs as I find them. This was a great opportunity to purchase because its in as new condition and you don’t often see this complete with box and papers. I was unbelievably the only bidder on eBay and won it for £12.99! all it needed was a battery!
Here is my Citizen Ana digi temperature watch. Really interesting watch this one as it combines so many features all in one watch. On the digital side you have alarm, stopwatch, date, temperature and a time zone. you also have an analog display in two dials showing time and seconds. You set the time on the analog not by a crown but electronically by buttons. The hands are powered by motors!
I really like this watch and am now looking for more older versions. I do have one but am currently repairing.
This model is a much newer model as you can tell by the design as everything is rounded off. Watch came with full instruction manual and the original box. Great find.
This is a cool retro looking Timex! I bought this as it looked in mint condition and it cost £6! however it was not working and unfortunately the module was broken beyond repair. A member of my Facebook group came to the rescue and sent me a donor watch from America. The case was not as nice but the module was fully functional so it was a simple swap over to have one good functioning watch.
What makes it a little different (despite the looks) is that to set the time & Date you have to rotate the pushers to activate setting mode. This was not obvious to me and I had to be told how to set the time!
This Seiko A134-5000 dates from 1979 and has been my biggest challenge on an LCD watch to date. This came in a job lot of Seiko’s I bought and was not working. There was extensive battery leakage corrosion to the extent that one of the battery terminals had corroded so badly that it had come detached from the module.
I spend hour on this thing. First of all cleaning all the corrosion under magnification, I then found that one of the tracks for the LCD screen was damaged. I fixed that rather crudely with some silver conductive paint.
I then used a soldering iron to attach the contact. Once I had positive continuity through it I rebuilt the watch and it was working!
I then stripped it all back down again and cleaned the speaker and grill, then re-finished the whole case.
The end result was pleasing and would be perfect if I can ever find a donor crystal.
This is a very nice watch! Citizen 57-1017 which is a dual time or / and chronograph. Weirdly you cannot run both together, it has to be in dual time mode or Chronograph mode. I won this on eBay for £15! granted it had some issues with the pushers not working correctly. One would not work and the other intermittently. I stripped the module down and cleaned it all and then reseated it back into the case in the correct position and now all functions work correctly. This really as one of the nicest digital watches I have.
This was a great project and a quite early Casio model that were produced from 1977. I bought this in a lot of Casio’s and only wanted this one. I was able to sell the 5 others and make profit so this Casio in effect was free. It needed some challenging work as I had to fix a track as one of the segments was not displaying. I made a full video of the work on this watch which you can find here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3NBUyX5_LA&t=1176s
All in all a nice digital watch that I learnt allot from.
This is my first Casiotron. Casiotron’s were some of the first digital watches made by Casio this one dates from 1977. This was a good find, bought from a member in my Facebook group as a non running watch I found inside the usual battery corrosion which I successfully cleaned. When I fitted the battery it still refused so in desperation I left the battery in and put the watch in my pocket ( a trick I have learnt) sure enough a few hours later it was working.
This Casiotron 76CS-41 has some interesting features for its reduced size. firstly the seconds are represented by back markers that flash and stay lit per 10 seconds and fill across the screen. I have never seen this before and it is rather cool . Secondly it has a stopwatch or dual time function that is not obvious and I only found it through playing with the buttons. Like a Citizen I have (also on this page) this watch is either a dual time or a Stopwatch. It cannot be both.
Very nice bracelet sets it off. Classic LCD look but with a bit more quality than later models I feel.
Here is my classic 1980s (from 1984 this model) Casio that takes me back to my school days. This watch came in a job lot and I have learned to examine very carefully these little circuit boards as it does not take much muck to stop them from working. I cleaned this 3 or more times and it would only work when it got warm by leaving it in my pocket ( a little trick I have learnt) turned out there was a little sticky gunk between the contacts of the quartz crystal. Once cleaned off its not stopped running since.
So here is my Seiko H239-500C from 1981. These are sometimes referred to as “Robot” watches and I can see why. Classic early 80s design when Seiko and others were playing around with designs for these “ana-digi” watches. I have a recent interest in these types of watches as you will see here in my LCD page!
This was quote a project though. Complete dead watch with no hope of ever working again. I was lucky and saw a donor come up in Italy for very little money. It was working but the screen was badly burnt and it also did not state if the analog part was working.
Once arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find all parts of the watch worked so set about swapping that screen. This was quite a simple affair of disassembly of main components,board etc. with screen in place I rebuilt and for a while it would not work , only half the screen but after more cleaning with IPA alcohol it finally lit up in every segment. Pleased by this I turned my attention to the analogue part. This was now not running. On close inspection of the train wheels and step rotor using my microscope I could see lots of old oil and dirt. Okay this what must be causing the fault! stripped it all down and cleaned in my Ultrasonic and then painstakingly rebuilt. The train wheels are the tiniest I have ever come across at only maybe 3-5mm in diameter. they were a pain to get back in position under the bridge but I did eventually manage it. Battery installed and nothing! again my hopes were dashed…. until I looked at the coil…. then saw under my microscope a very small dent which had broken one wire.
To fix this I tried some conductive paint in the spot, applied under a scope and to a minimum. an hour later the watch was working!!! what is cool about the analogue part is that with one “click” of the crown it advances 1 minute to clicks in rapid succession the hand forwards one hour, and vise versa if you wind backwards.
After this I refinished all the case , repolished all the bright parts and applied a brushed finish to the flats. installed a NOS crystal and it looked so nice! I did the same to the bracelet and reapplied the brushed finish on the links and polished the centre links in the middle.
Overall I am gobsmacked as to how this one turned out in the end! really is an eye catching watch that I have now successfully reborn. This one I think will always stay in my collection as I have become fond of it after all the work to get it to look like how it does now.
This slim watch is a Seiko H448-500A from 1991. Another watch that came from my big haul of Seiko non runners. I wanted to prove a point with this one in getting it fixed. I could after a clean of the board get some activity on the lcd screen but it was all mixed an made no sense whatsoever. I set a eBay search alert for any Seiko H448 and sure enough a month later one broken one popped up. It was a different case design but the module was the same. This one the lcd was working but the analogue not. I swapped out the circuit board and put it in the one I wanted and I got some movement. Problem was I was missing a stem for the analog part and these, like most quartz watches the analog will not work without a stem and crown. I sourced a new stem (donor was too short) once fitted the whole watch sprung into life and its now working as it should. Quite an interesting little piece with a charm all of its own. Nice and thin and with a chrono, alarm, day date and dual time its packed with all the features of that era.
Some people consider these ana digi watches ugly but that’s okay by me as it make them cheap. I love this Citizen 41-9559, one of the few watches I have bought that is running perfectly! I saw it on eBay put in a bid and won. I think this phase in the 80s was interesting, holding onto the analog watch but integrating all the good features of a digital, this one has stopwatch, alarm, dual time. displays them in a cool way. The watch is well made of solid materials and a good addition to my ever growing collection!
This was a bonus watch found in a joblot I bought to fix and sell on. I sold everything but kept this one back as I was already in profit. It needed a clean of the contacts and a new battery. all functions work, Nice classic ana digi look about it with all the features I expect in these types of watches. I do like the close nit bracelet which defines that 80s look and reminds me of my school years.
This is a great example of a Ana-Digi Watch. Seiko H601-524A in near perfect condition. I bought for £9! non runner. I could not fix it though as the battery leak damage was too extensive so ended up looking for a donor.
A twist of fate happened when a member on my Facebook group offered me a pile of spare parts for watches for the covering cost of the postage. I was so fortunate to find in there a H601 working module!
A quick swap was all that was needed to get mine back up and running.
Here is a great digital watch and one of my favourites. I love the two front buttons, that is solar (& Battery) and that the bracelet is rather nice. I bought this at a watch fair with some others and it cost me just £4.00! It required a through clean of the circuit and battery terminals before it decided it would come into life again. I do not know this brand and it was probably one of the 100’s at the time who were making digital watches in that era. either way I think this is classic digital and one I am glad to have rescued.
Another cool looking Ana Digi watch from Zetron. I have seen this exact same watch in two other brands so clearly the case and module / movement are generic. In fact the movement is a PUW quartz from Germany. I know this because when I got this I turned the crown to set the analog and the crown was already in two pieces. I had to source a new stem and the only way to do that was to examine the mechanical part of the watch for a makers mark. I got a stem and fitted. Digital part just needed a battery despite being sold as a non runner.
In many ways this is one of my favourite ana digi’s because of that great retro look.
Here is another example of the Seiko H239 module “robot” watch. this one has the same module as my white one but a different dial layout. Now looks to have a large speaker on the left. This is a dummy design other than the speaker is beneath the disguise on the board, sound travels up a tube and the glass has a small hole with a rubber perforated cover where the sound expels. Cool classic 80s Seiko, this one dating from 1981. Module works perfectly so this one just needed allot of cosmetic work. Watch absolutely stunk of old man and was disgustingly dirty. 1.1/2 hours in the ultrasonic with high level of detergent shifted the DNA ! after that it was just a restoration of the case and bracelet to apply original finishes both brushed and polished.
End result is a fantastic example and another one saved!
This watch was an unbelievable find although not working for £16 I rose to the challenge. These are notoriously difficult to fix as they are on a ceramic board which is susceptible to damage from acid or wrong battery being installed and cracking the board. I had nothing to go on with the eBay listing other than not working. I took a chance… Teardown was easy enough as not much holds these together. board and circuity looked okay but the bottom negative contact that is printed to the board was corroded to the point of missing. I did not think I could fix it at this point but thought what the hell I’d still give it a go. I stripped off all the corrosion and then repainted under my microscope. It took 3 layers but eventually it looked good enough. I installed a battery and nothing….. I left the battery in all night and in the morning to my surprise it had fired up!! took a long time to work out how to set the time as its not obvious, nether to use all the functions!
upon wearing I would find it would either go off all together or reset. I could not remedy this problem but eventually it seems to have calmed down and does not do it so often now. (only on wearing too)
Great chunky early watch from Casio and worthy of a place in the collection.
What a project this turned out to be! I bought as a bit of fun for £14.00 and it was completely dead. when I stripped it all down I found an amazing circuit board with acid damage to one side. I cleaned all this off and re-flowed all the solder joints but nothing would fire it into life. eventually I found that one of the resistors on the other side was loose. As they are so small I didn’t hold out much hope for soldering it back on but after a few attempts I was successful . Once rebuilt I could wait to press the “speak” button. Sure enough out came a very American voice advising me of the time. Very rewarding for all the effort I put in too!
I plan to do a YouTube video soon on this watch .
Another joblot find and also with a broken screen however I knew I had a spare from a watch I was given a while before. A straightforward screen swap was needed although I had bad segments for quite a while until I realised there was an issue with the battery retainer. Fixing that seemed to fix all problems on the screen.
The typical Analog / Digital display combined with a temperature gauge. These watches are on the rise and becoming ever more desirable with pricetags to match. I am lead to believe that this model with the black screen surround it quite rare also.
What you see here is possibly my favourite ana digi watch. Citizen 8920 module which is hard to find as they are only numbered on the module and not the caseback. This is also the longest project I have had taking 5 months!
I bought the watch as a non runner for £2.20 on eBay which was a steel I thought given the condition, I figured it would be a easy fix however on receipt of the watch I found that not to be the case. Extensive battery acid damage had done its worst and ruined the module. In all it took 3 donors to finally get it to work. 2 donors the coils were bad, the final donor was a complete working module! finding the donors it what took forever. Saved eBay searches eventually came to my rescue.
Beautiful dial and shape, so unusual and that is why I like it so much. I had to relume the dots on the dial to complete the look. Well worth the wait.
Here is possibly my most like new condition Seiko digital watch. The model is A159-5019. Most of these early digitals had 5### numbers. 5001,5009, 5019 etc. the 5019 it would seem was always the top of that range having a few more design features. Typically they came with much better bracelets like this two tone one, their cases were also slightly better looking. I was lucky to stumble across this one which came with box and papers. It must have sat somewhere for 30 years untouched, unfortunately the battery had done its worst and ruined the circuit board. I was fortunate to purchase a battered but working donor, the A159 module is quite common fortunately so I did not pay much for it. Now I have a lovely almost perfect example of this model. Pictures I believe speak for themselves.
This is an interesting digital. Came to me as part of a payment for some work on another watch. I was drawn to this because of the front pushers. I do like front pushers as they are not very common and usually quite an early digital watch. All this needed was a quick clean mainly to do with the pushers as they would not work. With a new battery all is fine. Chrome plated case which is now faded quite allot, also not its original strap. I will hold onto this one at least for a while anyway.
This is my grail digital watch a Seiko 0634-5019. Worlds first digital chrono, I have other 0634 that you can see on the page but this one is the pinnacle of that range. The 5019 has a different case shape that is more angled and chunky. Also has a more aggressive bracelet to match with the two tone banding makes it really stand out.
I could write for 2000 words on this one but fortunately I blogged about it so please see here to read about all the work that I carried out on this model. 0634-5019 Blog
The 0634-5001 digtial chrono was originally for the Japanese domestic market (I believe) I bought this to complete the set of 0634 in my collection. I paid £34.00 uk in 2018 and the seller on eBay said it was spares and repairs. Once received although the crystal is in poor condition the rest of the watch was fine. It had stuck pushers one of which would not operate the function. I found some battery leakage too. Once I cleaned it all up. removed the pushers, cleaned and then re-oiled the watch is now in fine working order. I am now on the lookout for a nice crystal!
Yes a Commodore LCD Digital watch! I am old enough to remember Commodore computers as I spent hours playing them in the 80s. I have had a few of these watches pass though my hands but this one I decided to keep if for nothing more than nostalgia purposes. Actually quite a nice watch I think anyway. Basic time and date functions and a light. Some have 24 hour some don’t although they can look exactly the same.
I cant say much about this one, it was given to me by a very good friend who is a big collector of Seiko. This Timex is factory fresh. Not a mark on it. Lovely two tone bracelet, all functions work to. Still has the sticker on the caseback! either someone didn’t like it or forgot they owned it. I love survivors like this.
This Casio 31SQ-11 dates from around 1977, I bought in a job lot of Casios’s (See photos). It was this one I wanted in the lot so old everything else and kept this one by that point for free. It required quite a bit of work in the end to get it to run and then I polished the case to give it the shine back. You can watch the service of this watch on my YouTube channel here Vintage Casio Service
This is a lovely gold coloured Citizen 40-4080 digital watch. It was a great find too at the UK watch fair. Bought this for £10.00! okay it was not working right but it has hardly any wear to it. Usually with these vintage gold watches most of the colour is faded off especially on the clasp. This one though has fared very well over the years. I’d guess at early 80s for its date. They have an interesting module which when in stop watch the bar at the bottom flashes across the screen. very interesting graphic for the time so I could imagine playing with this in wonder as a teenager back then. To fix it just needed a very good clean in the ultrasonic in alcohol. Took a few attempts but eventually I won the battle.
Here we have a funny one, I bought this as a non runner for £13.00 just so I could have a look at it as I do plan to sell on. It was not working but photos showed it to be in good condition. When it arrived I opened up the battery hatch and saw no corrosion so tried a battery to be sure. It didn’t work…
Reading the print on the case back clearly this watch required two batteries, one for the watch and one for the radio!
I removed the caseback to find the “hidden” battery. there was some corrosion but nothing that worried me so I cleaned it all off with a fibre pen and alcohol and installed the correct battery before closing the back on it once again.
I have been unable to test the radio, headphone jack is mono which is fine but I am lead to believe that the old metal headphones formed part of the ariel. All I can get is a hiss when tuning. Clearly it has the possibility to work for someone in the future.
This is a great example of an early Seiko digital. This A029-5020 is from 1978 and is a front pusher model which I really like. Unusual to see these in a blue dial. I found this one in working condition at a watch fair here in the UK. I paid under what the market value is as it needs a new crystal. I have already bought one but at the time of writing this I still have not fitted it. A worthy keeper for the collection. I really enjoy the early digital watches.
This Citron watch is a homage to the iconic Catena Spacesonic watch that I believe was from the 70s. The Citron is a more recent 90s creation and a nod to that original design. Both the Citron and the Catena are rare watches in their own right with the Catena being faked also as they are worth upwards of £350.00 if you can find one.
I saw this Citron come up on eBay and I had to buy it. The watch arrived and it had problems. screen was not lighting up properly and the backlight was not working. I had to tinker with this for many hours before it showed signs of life and even then it still ran -20seconds per minute!! I later found out that the two white pieces of paper (shown in photo) were not supposed to be inside the watch so removed them and now it works fine. Backlight was an easy fix, just turned around the incorrectly fitted zebra strips.
This one is definitely staying in the collection as I just love it.
I have had this one a while but forgot to but it on the site. I have seen the module in this one many times before and have plenty of spare parts as they are extremely fragile. It took a bit of fiddling to get it going but I did. Its an unusual shape and that dial is what drew me in. Bracelet is integrated so impossible to lie flat and take a photo. This is a worthy entry for the collection as it is so typical of these crazy designs back in the day.
Here is a nice early Seiko digital an M159-5028 from 1977! I found this one in the summer of 2019 at a local watch fair. It was running but looked a bit battered and had what I thought was delamination on the screen insert. I paid a whopping £20.00 for it (which is a bargain even in this state) Took it home and then realised the delamination was in fact a liquid stuck between the glass and the insert. I tried many things such as soaking in alcohol to compressed air but nothing would shift it. I attempted to remove the crystal but it broke so I put it in my failed pile and there is sat for 4 months until a chance conversation with a friend revealed that he could get a crystal for it 9I had tried and failed) when the glass turned up I decided to refinish all the case, polished the top and a tiny lip at the sides and brushed finish on everything else. Crystal just presses in so was easy work. Now I have another nice front pusher early Seiko to add to the collection.