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Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest

Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
First confirmed free climb - June 25th, 2007

The Linde Werdelin Biformeter and Land Instrument has made history by guiding world leading climbers, Conrad Anker and Leo Houlding, to becoming the first to free climb the famous North East Ridge of Everest. This is the first confirmed true, unaided ascent of the route.

The Linde Werdelin Land Instrument measures heart rate, temperature, altitude, weather and compass readings, principally keeping the expedition team safe whilst measuring how the body reacts to such extreme conditions. Previously, all confirmed ascents using this route to reach the summit have used a ladder bolted to the Second Step of the North East Ridge. The Chinese authorities gave special permission for the removal of the fixed ladder and ropes enabling Houlding and Anker to complete the Second Step very much as Mallory and Irvine might have done 83 years earlier proving that it is very possible that they did reach the summit.


Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
via Timezone

Linde Werdelin Site
Altitude Everest Expedition Site
Expedition Biometrics Page


Click here to find other altimeter watches

Click here to find other heart rate monitor watches


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The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Dynamic Scattering Liquid Crystal Display, the precursor to the common gray 'Field Effect' LCD displays of today. Only produced for two years, they are rarer than most other vintage digital LED watches of the seventies. Digits were low contrast silver and only really visible when looking directly at the watch. Pulling and twisting the crown in either direction sets the watch but you must hold it as it advances just one minute at a time.

Relatively obscure to most collectors, the Dynamic Scattering LCDs were difficult to read, housed in giant cases and frustrating to set time. That's exactly why they're so damn cool.


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDMathey Tissot (Left)
Roamer MicroQuartz (Right)

Some LCD history (via Smithsonian)
(kinda boring so feel free to skip down to the watch photos below)

Liquid crystals are organic substances that reflect light when voltage is applied.

In a watch display, the liquid crystal material is sandwiched in between two layers of glass. A transparent electrode pattern has been applied on the inner surfaces of the glass in the shape of the digital bars used in the time display. The integrated circuit applies voltage to the appropriate segments of the display, which reflect the ambient light to display the time. These molecules are affected by the voltage in such a way that they contrast sharply with the molecules in the rest of the display that do not receive current. Because LCDs reflect, rather than emit, light, the voltage requirements are quite low.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the 1880s.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the end of the 19th century, but applications appeared only in the 1960s. Friedrich Reinitzer and Otto Lehmann first noted their behavior and named them in the 1880s. European laboratory scientists came to understand the physics and chemistry of liquid crystals during the 1930s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that investigations began in the United States in both basic research and practical uses for liquid crystals.

LCD watches first appeared in 1970, but the display required improvement.

The first liquid crystal displays were developed in 1968 by a research group at RCA's David Sarnoff Research Center, headed by George Heilmeier. This display was based on the dynamic scattering mode. In 1970 Nunzio Luce, Louis Zanoni, George Graham, and Joel Goldmacher left RCA and joined Optel Corporation, where they developed the first LCD display for commercial purposes, including the digital watch display.

Because the DSM LCDs suffered from relatively high power consumption, limited life, and poor contrast, the search continued for a workable LCD. James Fergason at Kent State invented an improved display based on the twisted nematic field effect in 1969. Fergason left Kent State and formed ILIXCO Corporation to manufacture his display. The first LCD watch with an ILIXCO display was marketed by Gruen. The field effect display is the kind most frequently found in today's LCD products.

Much more can be found in the Pieter Doensen book, "Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch" -->Link

A visual history of some Dynamic Scattering LCD watches 1972-1974;


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDUnknown Sideview DS LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDVery rare Spacesonic (Spaceman Audacieuse)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD1972 BWC (from extensive digital collection at Magic Digitals)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDDS LCD Quartz Module

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDBWC, Milus, Wyler, Glycine, Ditronic

Other brands that produced DS LCD;
Microma, Optel, Elgin, Nepro, Texas Instruments,
Silvania, Rodania, Titus, Helvetia, Computime,
Richard, Pallas, Sandoz and Zodiac

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDJules Jurgensen OPTCOM 1
Top photo shows the low contrast silver display

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDLongines / Swissonic 2000

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDWestclox Quartzmatic





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Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few YearsBridging the gap between battery draining LED (light emitting diodes) and the more economical LCD (liquid crystal displays) was a brief period (1974-76ish) when both displays were used in one watch. Their purpose was primarily for displaying the time both day and night as internal lamp functions were not fully developed. Very few brands used this configuration but featured here are most of them...

1975 Longines Gemini II - module by Hughes Aircraft Co. (original advertisement above and detail photos below)

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
1975 Heuer Chronosplit, a sports timer and watch, later made with dual LCD displays. This version is the rarest.

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1975 Heuer (pre-Tag) Chronosplit Ad

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1976 Helbros

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
1976 Longines -->Link

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
Croton "Terrestrial" -->Link

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years



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1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
I swear this is my last Spy-Camera-Watch posting for a while...But since so many different variations have existed over the past 120 years, great vintage examples keep appearing. This particular one is of the Quartz age, a 1970 SIPE LED digital watch with Steinheil 2.5/12mm lens, for 7 exposures on special cassette. Actually, it appears to be a Dynamic Scattering Liquid Crystal Display, the earliest form of LCD developed in the late sixties. Either way, it's being auctioned from the WestLicht Photographia Auction House (lot 671). Or on Ebay here-->Link


1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera WatchAlso being offered are two very nice examples of the 1949 Steineck ABC subminiature wrist-cameras. Previously featured here-->Link

All my related Spy Watch posts here-->Link


Click to see modern Spy Cameras

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch


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Ain't nothin like your first Time - Vintage Kids Watches

HAPPYTIME - 1970's Sears mechanical jump hour with bouncing eyes
1980's Kronoform Robot Watches
"The robot time-machine that can transform, each time, you tell time."


1983 Pac Man Video Game Watch --> Link
(rare version made with a mini joystick)

1966 G.I. Joe Military Watch by Gilbert
Swiss mechanical watch with compass

1965 James Bond 007 Spy Watch by GilbertPreviously featured --> Link


1934 Ingersoll Three Little Pigs & Big Bad Wolf Pocket Watch & Clock
Brick packaging display was genius!
Clock - Rotating Wolf arms grasp for piggies


Related story --> Homemade Pong Watch

Vintage Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy History

Evolution of the Sundial


1. Synchronar - Conceived in the early sixties and first produced in 1968, the first Solar watch ever was invented by the reclusive inventor Roger Riehl. Solar panels on the top with a sideview LED display. Heavily debated within a microcosm of vintage watch collectors as the first digital watch ever. That distinction is commonly given to the 1970's Pulsar LED. 

2. Nepro - 1975 LED with raised display and backside solar panels.


3. Uranus - "This is one of the earliest LED watches in existence. It is one of the very earliest "wearable" wristwatches made by Uranus (approx. 1971) and one of only a few made (hugely expensive to build). It actually predates the Pulsar and launched Uranus into a patent fight with Hamilton (Uranus lost). The thing that makes this watch unique is that it does not use an LSI (large scale integrated chip) but instead is made up of discrete logic and driver chips using hundreds of wire bonds to connect them up. It is truly a packaging marvel. The display is only hours and minutes. The face is divided in half horizontally with the LED in the upper half, the lower half being composed of solar cells in a fan pattern to supplement the battery, all in a gold filled case." by Guy Ball


4. Sicura LCD - 1976 LCD with innovative solution of putting solar panels on the side of the watch.

Sicura Ad


5. Sicura Analog - 1978 Analog version of the same watch.



6. Junghans 'Mega Solar' - 1990's radio-controlled, PVD-coated wristwatch with solar cell, date and integrated radio receiver from one of the most accurate clocks in the world - the Caesium Time Base at Germany’s National Institute of Natural Engineering and Sciences.


7. Citizen Crystron - 1976 "This was the first solar-powered analog wristwatch. It conformed to the conventional design of most analog watches except for the four square gray panels that take up most of the face. This watch began Citizen’s long-term commitment to solar powered watches, which has culminated in the very successful Eco-Drive line of watches." by Soluhr


8. Calcron & Louis Erard Calculator Watches - Mid to late seventies solar calculator watches with side panels. The non-solar Calcron is believed to be the first ever wrist-calculator watch made as originally featured here-->Link


9. Cristalonic 'Solar Quartz' by GmbH - 1980's LCD with an asymmetric black plastic case.

Cristalonic Advertisements


10. Lorus - 1980's solar LCD. A division of Seiko.

Sadly, development of the modern light-powered watch, like the Citizen Eco-Drive, eliminated the need for innovative visual configurations as solar panels now absorb light through traditional watch dials. It was fun while it lasted...

Whatthefuckwatch by Tokyoflash Japan

Tokyoflash has always brought us great gadget watches flexing new timetelling muscles but this time, you'll rip flesh trying to determine how late you are. The all stainless steel 'Biohazard' Alien Detection Watch has an advanced multi-color LCD display and is summed up like this;
  • Top row - 12 Helix bars, each lit for the hours of the day
  • Bottom row - Blue blocks represent 5 minute increments, green are 1 minute each.
  • The animated 'Alien DNA' calculation in the middle determines the date by the percentage shown - 12.04% = December 4th





Super-Duper-Uber-Rare 1978 Heuer Ford Chronosplit RS Motorsport

Super-Duper-Uber-Rare 1978 Heuer Ford Chronosplit RS MotorsportDid I make my point about how rare this watch is? Well, multiply that by 100. It's just unheard of, they never appear on the vintage market. And Graham has one in new-old stock condition, fully functioning with original box/paperwork. It's so uncommon to see working that I had no idea it had an LCD logo of the Ford company. He also offers the original tool for opening the spark plug pod battery pods. All I can say is wow.

Part of the holy grail collection of Heuer Chronosplit.

Chronosplit (LED/LCD)
Ford RS Motorsport
The Manhattan
The Senator

Super-Duper-Uber-Rare 1978 Heuer Ford Chronosplit RS Motorsport
Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to EverestThe Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDVintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera WatchAin't nothin like your first Time - Vintage Kids WatchesVintage Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy HistoryWhatthefuckwatch by Tokyoflash Japan

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