Early Release Sinclair Calculator Watch Kit
This largely unbuilt Sinclair Calculator Watch dates to 1977 and represents one of the most desirable and quirky of all Sinclair collectables. As the de-facto king of hobby electronics back in the 1970s, Clive Sinclair built his empire off of the miniaturization of little gadgets such as this one and the good will of amateur or hobby constructors.
While the first calculator watch had been pioneered by the high end ‘Pulsar’ in 1975 and quickly taken up by several other leading companies in the years that followed, Sinclair’s example was the first to come in kit form and in doing so was offered at a fraction the price of the rest. It was a savvy business move in principle, but in reality once the customers got their hands on these kits they quickly earned a reputation for being nearly impossible to build and very prone to breaking. Since the physical margin of error on the components was so tight many people found certain parts in their kits simply did not fit, even when replacements were issued.
Two thirds of the kits manufactured were sent to the US (20,000 units), although most were later sent back. This watch is one of those US exported examples and we know it was produced and issued in the very first batch because the original padded envelope that comes with this one is post office dated for the start of Feb ’77 coinciding with the official global release of the watch.
Just like so many of these calculator kits, this example has been started by someone who then didn’t get very far with it before they perhaps wisely stopped. However they had the sense to hang onto all the pieces so is therefore offered complete.
You can see from the photos that it is offered in fair condition overall but is still perfect for display. One plastic side hinge on the lid has sadly snapped off (but the tiny piece is included if you wanted to carefully reattach it), there is a crack in the plastic casing and the manuals show some wear and age.