Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Sir Clive Sinclair's Doomed FM Radio Watch

The man, the myth, the miniaturization of everything he could think of.

Sir Clive Sinclair - Inventor of the first pocket calculator (1972 Sinclair Executive), the first pocket television (1966 Microvision), the homemade LED watch (1975 Black Watch) and this 1984 FM radio watch prototype by Dagfinn Aksnes. Only few exist after the plug was pulled on production within days of it's introduction at an electronics trade show in Las Vegas.

Three separate body casings for the LCD watch, FM radio/tuner and center speaker are connected by bottom hinges, "flexicircuits" and protected by expandable accordion style "concertina" covers allowing the watch to curve to the wrist. The antenna for reception was a copper band concealed inside the strap and powered by two batteries, one in clock case, one in buckle.

I owned one for a time, loved it's prototypical Mars Rover qualities, soon discovered that the watch had many functional (not design) flaws and understand it's premature demise. Apparently there is a rich tradition of advanced products failing at Sinclair. A sign of a true trailblazer.

Dagfinn Aksnes Article
Planet Sinclair Article & Photos
LEDWatches.net Article & Photos