Sinclair White Watch

 Home > Browse Our Collection > Miscellaneous > Sinclair White Watch

The Black Watch was launched in September 1975 by Sinclair Radionics, later Sinclair Research, the company behind the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum.  It cost £24.95 ready-built or £17.95 as a kit.  It had a red LED display and was marketed by the company as follows:

'if that [the technical description] sounds technical, think of the outcome: a watch with no moving parts, a watch with nothing to go wrong, a watch which gives accuracy never achievable by the most precise mechanical engineering.'

The Black Watch, however, was riddled with problems.  So many were returned that the company made a huge loss and would have been bankrupted but for a government subsidy. 

The watch had to be disassembled to change the battery, the display was off as a default, two buttons could be pressed, then the time could be read as long as the button was pressed down, this unfortunately drained the battery very quickly indeed.

However, the watch is a good early example of Sinclair's interest in aesthetically pleasing electronic products. 

This is a rare example of the white version, and has arrived at the museum as part of a large amount of items from Chris Wilding who worked at Sinclair Radionics and Sinclair Electronics.

The secondary image shows what appears to be a marketing image displaying all three colours of the 'Black' watch, but we are yet to find evidence of this white model having been on sale. Image from Rodney Dale's book 'The Sinclair Story'.

Our White Watch comes in its original display case.

Date : 1975

Manufacturer : Sinclair Radionics

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH66646. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Scan of Document: Sinclair White Watch

Click on the Image For Detail

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum