I have been after one of these for the last 3 years. When I first started looking at them there were going for a couple of quid but then rapidly headed towards the 100 quid mark. And to be honest I wasn’t prepared to pay that much for tat. So I have been keeping my eyes on sites looking for one to come up for a reasonable amount. Which now is in fact more than what you would pay for some nice mechanical watch!
But anyway this beauty came up and it is in as new condition. Bar one tiny scratch on the face it is like brand new. There is not even any dirt or sweat anywhere on it. And original bracelet. Nice. J
The one downside is that as it sat for the last 30 years in an East German drawer it’s battery leaked. But I was hoping that it would be a matter of just cleaning or replacing the battery terminals, but no, the movement/ module’s goose is cooked. L
But that aside I am happy with it. To be honest my other Ruhla mechanical watches are pretty crude and I was expecting all these years for this Eurochron to be an ugly piece of tacky Commie tat. So I was shocked to find that it is actually very high quality! Externally anyway. The case is perfectly made and chromed. It is a very "futuristic" only 7mm thin! The stainless steel bracelet is heavy high quality mesh.
From a manufacturing point of view it is the epitome of efficiency of mass manufacture. It’s printed circuit board only has 10 surface mounted components. The main clock processor is integrated into the PCB as part of the manufacturing process and the PCB is well designed with test points on both sides. The only let down is the choice of plastic for the chassis is cheap. The kind of plastic that you would find in an Airfix/ Matchbox model aeroplane kit. So it is a bit cheap and fragile. A pity as the case, face and bracelet as already mentioned is surprisingly nicely manufactured.
The one other criticism is not quality but one of design, and that is the buttons! They are tiny and thin, almost like needles. Too much pressing would make your finger sore. I suppose the SED wanted to remind the citizens of the DDR that comfort also comes at the price of pain!
And that is the thing that I love about this watch is that someone behind the Iron Curtain in the grey oppressive DDR would have bought this, (well maybe not this exact one as it doesn’t look like it was ever worn) and would have been so proud that the DDR could manufacture a watch with cutting edge technology “just as good as the fascist Western pigs could”.
I just need to find a banged up one, or one with a cracked LCD and swap out the processor board. If anyone has any idea where to look or knows where one might exist please let me know.
I stripped the watch down and cleaned the corrosion caused by the leaking battery from the circuit and components, and I also reflowed the solder joints. Looks like brand new! There was no permanent erosion of the copper! Happy days!
Reassembled the watch:
New battery fitted but the watch is still dead. It's goose is cooked.