Vintage LED Watch

Thread: Vintage LED Watch

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  1. #1
    Member BrooklineWatch's Avatar
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    Vintage LED Watch

    Below are pictures of my father's old Benrus LED watch. My mother gave it to him as a wedding present, and of course the technology promptly became obsolete, as I understand it, because of how much power it took to run these things.

    According to my father, he took it to someone a long time ago and they told him it would be so expensive to fix that it wasn't worth it at all.

    Anyway, I think it looks pretty cool.

    I wonder if anyone out there knows anything about these watches, and if there are those who collect them. I did some searching around the internet and these forums, but didn't find much.
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    Main Rotation: ROLEX SubC 116610 / OMEGA Speedmaster 3750.50 / OMEGA Aqua Terra 2503.33 / HAMILTON Field Khaki
    Seiko: SRP775 Turtle Reissue / 6139-6002 "Pogue" (blue dial) / 6106 Sea Lion / Orange Monster
    Some Vintage: OMEGA 1959 cal. 500 Seamaster / LONGINES tank c. 1940s (currently on the wrist of my lady-friend)

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    A number of Silicon Valley semiconductor firms made these. Hughes and Fairchild were two of the more prolific makers. It is hard to say who made this one without movement information. The back will pry off with application of the correct tools.

    Usually these watches were stored with their batteries. And batteries of this era tend to corrode. If that is not the case here, new batteries may bring the watch to life. If the watch does not work, it is just casing parts in today's market as movements are difficult to obtain except from donors.

    It was these watches and their LCD successors that made quartz watches cheap. Until the 80's quartz watches were generally more expensive than mechanicals... except for the cheap mechanicals who were soon replaced by quartz ... no more pin levers after these watches took hold!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    A cool looking watch. Its a pity, but as Eeeb says, these are not readily repaired. A general site re LED watches is:

    Vintage LED Watches The LED Watch

    which has a video link on the home page to an Antiques Roadshow item. There are also many links re LED collector sites.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
    Member BrooklineWatch's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    Thanks for the info!
    Main Rotation: ROLEX SubC 116610 / OMEGA Speedmaster 3750.50 / OMEGA Aqua Terra 2503.33 / HAMILTON Field Khaki
    Seiko: SRP775 Turtle Reissue / 6139-6002 "Pogue" (blue dial) / 6106 Sea Lion / Orange Monster
    Some Vintage: OMEGA 1959 cal. 500 Seamaster / LONGINES tank c. 1940s (currently on the wrist of my lady-friend)

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    Fitting a module scavenged from a donor watch might be easier than you think. This one for $15 looks a lot like your Dad's:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-CompuChr...item20b627c83b

    These LED modules look pretty generic (the ones I've seen anyway). I happen to be playing with one tonight. Mine is from a no-name watch, but it looks similar to your Dad's Benrus (including the two battery setup). I popped the module out and it's sitting in my lap.

    The module has four function "buttons" (metal tabs) -- two on each side of the module. Either button on the left will set the time. Either button on the right displays the time. Any combination of a left and right button will operate all the functions of the watch. It looks like it was designed to fit into any case with a pusher on the left and right side of the case. It would work with a left case pusher (either upper or lower) and a right case pusher (upper or lower). The tabs on the module are long enough to allow some variance in where the case pushers are located top to bottom.

    In short, it looks like the LED module is designed to fit in my watch, your Dad's watch, or any multitude of cases. You might try buying a couple of similar looking LED watches on Ebay and pulling out the modules and trying them in your Dad's watch. It's quite easy to do.

    BTW: the red plastic crystal on these watches is large enough to accommodate a pretty wide variance in the location of the LED display on the module. The way these watches are designed, assembly is really just "plug and play" (with a little jiggling)

    Good luck!

    piscator
    Last edited by piscator; January 4th, 2011 at 07:10.

  7. #6
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    The cited movement appears to be defective, from the description. But persistence will no doubt find a possible replacement.
    Last edited by Eeeb; January 5th, 2011 at 19:22.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  8. #7
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage LED Watch

    Love the LED watches. The older ones do suck the batteries dry very quickly, which is why they only display for a couple seconds when pushed, but they are loads of fun.
    I had one identical to your a few years ago. Bought it on eBay as a non-working watch, but all it needed were a couple batteries.
    I recently picked up a modern vintage, using lithium batteries.

    "My grail showed up today"

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