We collect, repair and carry vintage digital watches

Original author: Gregory L. Charvat
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Fans of electronics have the opportunity to get on the cutting edge of the new fashion - there is now a vintage digital watch (HSC). This is a watch released from the late 70s to the late 80s. They are not like any of today's watches, and everyone who was present at their initial appearance will experience a healthy sense of nostalgia.

In terms of cost, it would be unwise to pay a watchmaker to repair a digital watch, but people with basic electronic skills can spend time and energy trying to re-run them and be among the very few selected who can boast of having a VCCH working. This is a statement and a sign that you have certain abilities.

We have already written in the Hackaday magazine about the history of digital watches [and the translator is a sinner/ approx. trans.]. And today we dive into the world of repair VTSCH.

LED watch is hard to find

LED watches were the first digital watches, as this technology appeared before liquid crystal displays. The first LED watches on offer were Hamilton Time Computer watches , they came out in 1972, and many others followed. American watch makers dominated the LED market in the early 70s.

These early digital watches consumed an incredibly large amount of energy, and even with careful use they put the battery in 3-6 months. Most LED watches showed the date, month, seconds, and perpetual calendar. Some even had an alphanumeric segment to display the day of the week. Today it is hard to find working VTSCH on LED. You will have to either spend a serious amount on the purchase of working hours, or buy modules for such hours, or non-working hours entirely. Given this shortage, you will become the king of geeks, if you acquire such a clock.

I bought such a watch produced by National Semiconductor in a state that has never been used. They were dead, suffered from battery corrosion, which damaged even the wires that went to the integrated circuit. As a result, for their repairs, I had to buy two more of the same watch.

Liquid Crystal Watches from the 70s

If you want something else, consider the variant VTSCH on LCD from the 70s. These watches are quite inexpensive and easy to maintain, most often they only need to clean the battery and its contacts.

In this watch you can find everything from eternal calendars, stopwatches and alarm clocks to world time. In the 70s, digital watch cases were fanciful, large, metal and heavy. Today, this design looks good.

Fairchild, National Semiconductor, Commodore Computer Company, Texas Instruments

These legendary techno companies of our youth have one thing in common: in the 70s they all produced digital clocks. Apparently, the price and cost were consistent with the business plans of these technoacouls: Commodore Computer, National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor.

Clock with calculator

Michael J. Fox wore such in one of the most iconic works of cinema of all time, the movie "Back to the Future." In the film, he wears a Casio CA-50 watch. Surprisingly, today you can buy the same new watch for $ 18-24.

If it's not cool enough, look towards the clock with a calculator from the late 70s, with stainless steel buttons. Of all the watches in my collection, these attract the most attention. I like to tell my little daughters that this is a watch with a keyboard for elves.

But if multiplication, division, addition and subtraction are not enough for you, then consider the scientific calculator, which is in the Casio CFX-200 watch. Look at how many buttons there are!

The first smart watch Smart Watch, Seiko UC-2000

BASIC was the first programming language of the 1980s, and if you want to run a program on BASIC on your wrist, there is only one way to do this: a Seiko UC-2000 and 3000 watch :

Every serious watch collector should have one. Seiko UC-2000 is still ahead of its time, even on Apple Watch you cannot launch a program on BASIC.

King Vtsch, Ana-Digi

The king of all VTSCH - analog-digital clock (Ana-Digi). Ana-Digi has a digital screen and an analog dial. Analog arrows have electronic synchronization with the screen, and they go at the same time! A technical miracle in the world of digital and mechanical watches.

Community lovers vtsch

The VCCH collectors and repairmen community has traditionally focused on mechanical watches, but recently Tibi Fleur has raised a wave of interest in the VCCH thanks to its YouTube channel . And like many other people who are interested in this growing hobby, I got to know the world of the VCCH thanks to him.

Chibi became interested in watches at a young age:
VTSCH attracted me by the fact that, although I was always interested in watches, I was not interested in mechanical watches, I was interested in watches with altimeters, watches with compasses, with some nirdovskimi devices that "show time, but still know how." In the end, I wanted to add a digital watch to my collection, but I didn’t like modern products, as a result I began to study the history of the development of digital watches. And now, five years later, I am obsessed with them. Besides, I always liked electronics, especially the period of early miniaturization.

Tibi describes an atypical VCCH collector like this:

  • He loves watches, but does not seek to get Patek Philippe, Rolex or JLC.
  • Does not seek to buy what is called Haute Horlogerie [complex mechanical clocks, approaching objects of art / approx. trans.].
  • He is also interested in vintage electronics, games or computers.
  • He likes to tinker with electronics, and knows how little more than replace the battery in a clock.
  • Nird in everything related to watches or electronics.
  • Grown up in the period from the 70s to the 90s.

Sounds like? Then you just get into the community of VCCH fans.

How to repair VTSCH

You can’t do anything about it, sooner or later your watch will break, or you will be attracted by a copy that needs repair. Fortunately, most of the VCCH repair options will be within the reach of Hackaday [and Habr] readers. You will need the following instructions for repairing a digital clock - the best instruction on this topic. Having dealt with the work of hours, you will be ready to watch this video, telling about the service VTSCH, and the repair of most of these hours is not so difficult:

If you combine the skills of repairing traditional mechanical watches with these, then you can repair and Ana-Digi . But how to repair Sieko UC-2000 , a common problem which is damage to the inductor for loading and reading data.

Where can one buy

Having found your muse in the VCCH world and wanting to buy such for a collection, you can do the following.

Buy new

The easiest way is to buy new ones. Casio has continued to produce many models unchanged since the 1980s, including the CA53W calculator watch , the popular F91W , Casino Royale and others. Having a new watch, you may not have to worry about their repair.

Buy old but not used

Get the experience of owning a new watch from the 1970s. Then millions of copies of a digital watch were made, and some of them were never sold. They were forgotten in warehouses, and were not going to sell until the online auctions. Today you can find many examples of such watches.

Buy used

Nothing compares to the nature of the watches used. This may sound strange, but watch collectors like to leave scratches on the case and notches in the glass, as they tell their story. Wearing a watch is like wearing a good pair of jeans. Do not worry about scratches and chips. Working hours with signs of wear - today people tend to get this look.

Future vtsch

In recent years, the value of vintage watches has skyrocketed. You cannot buy a Bulova watch of the 40s without paying 4 times more than 7-8 years ago. In the same way, a digital clock is on the verge of awakening widespread interest in them. Chibi says this:

There are only a few of these jewels left, they are no longer produced, at least not in the same way as before. Mechanical watches in different versions and at different prices is full today, but not digital.

Don't forget to wear your vintage digital watch.

For the first time, hackers and electronics engineers can be at the height of fashion. Wearing VTSCH is an achievement, because you were able to run them again. This statement, and the subject of conversation, since no one today wears watches from the 70s and 80s. For these reasons, and many others, let's not forget to wear our digital watch.

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