Retro time pieces

We're happy to announce that guest-blogger Adora has sent us another great retro article 'Time Trip' which is all about time ... well, wristwatches to be exact. Adora stirs up some great memories from the '70s and '80s, take a read below.


retro watch
Throughout the ages, the one thing us humans have all needed more of is 'time'.  Time is our lifeblood and we're obsessed with it, which is why we need to know where it's at, constantly.  In the 1970s a commercial watch revolution began, which transformed simple timepieces into fashion statements, wealth indicators, and even mobile entertainment devices.

Watches became an extension of ourselves like never before and it all started with the quartz revolution.  No more fiddly winding handles, this tiny crystal device meant that we would never run out of time (well, until the battery needed changing).

pulsar p1Things got even better when LED technology arrived.  The iconic Hamilton Pulsar P1 (opposite) was the first ever digital watch on the market and only 400 were made, costing around £10 GRAND each in today's money.  Despite its limited battery life, the bright red LED display and heavy gold strap separated the men from the boys and other brands quickly followed suit.

But another invention was waiting in the wings and LCD soon offered a more practical and affordable way for everyone to have a piece of the digital action, so much so that by end of the 70s digital watches were being given away with boxes of cereal! 

star wars watchIf you were a kid in 1977 one of the most coveted kids watches may have been yours; the Star Wars Texas Instruments watch, much cooler than a light sabre and now probably much harder to come by.

In the 80s, the variety of watch styles and manufacturers exploded. The two brands I remember most fondly are Swatch and Casio.  Still going strong, these stalwarts of time-telling mastery created some of the best jewels in the chronology crown.

kronoform watchThanks to Casio we could now synchronize our watches like Marty and Doc, with total precision timing.  Some Casio watches also included calculators and digital games, keeping us entertained on the go; an idea taken to the extreme by Kronoform who during the '80s created Transformer-esque watches that converted into robots. 

Meanwhile Swatch started making watches that were as colourful as the clothes we were wearing, with removable straps and faces, we could accessorise to our heart’s content.  


swatch wallOur obsession with Swatches arguably peaked when they later introduced their range of giant hanging wall clocks, and in just as many designs it was hard to pick a favourite.

As for me, we may now have watches that can track our every step and sleep cycle, but I’d pick a Kronoform Robot Watch over a smartwatch, every single time.


Thanks for that article Adora. Be sure to check out her other post on retro phone apps and take a look at our '70s and '80s collector sections ... you never know, you may even find a retro time-piece there. 

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