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Chronex:   The company was founded by George H. Thiess after he was forced out of Electro Data,  the company he founded that co-developed the first digital LED wristwatch.  This Chronex watch is a very rare watch and is fully functional. The bracelet is dated 7-73 .  We were quite surprised when we acquired the watch. We had only read about the company and after years of searching, we were almost convinced they never existed.  Finally, we can share this elusive Chronex LED timepiece. 

Commentary:   This watch is another example of Thiess's brilliance.  The module could quite possibly be the most durable early LED module ever developed. Besides being unique, it's stout and very well built. We were impressed to see that the display is double-wire bonded. All other wire bonded displays used a single wire to each segment. The double wire bonding would make this display twice as resistant from developing segment failures, common to some early LED modules. The display design also has expanded segments. They are the same typical segments used in other LED displays but are spaced apart, giving it a much larger display.  The display is about the same size as the Pulsar 500 series modules found in the Touch-Command Sport and Men's Dress. Those displays utilized a magnifying bubble to achieve a larger display.  Chronex protected its display by encapsulating it in a clear acrylic, embedding the LED segments and wire bonds. They then applied a bead of silicone around the display as a secondary seal. Take notice that there is no colon, just a single vertical segment to separate the hours and minutes. This vertical segment is also used to indicate AM - PM during the setting procedure. Setting is achieved via the typical inset push button on the side, common on many other digital watches. The IC is soldered directly onto the PCB instead of wire bonded, which is much more desirable.

One of the most unique features of the watch is that both of the main buttons function equally. What we mean is, they both do the same exact thing. This gives the user an option to operate the watch as he/she desires. This would also come in to play for those that wear the watch on the right wrist, such as a left-handed individual.  We know of no other LED watch that has this feature.  The functions are: a single push gives the time, a second push displays the date and  the day of the week, both alphabetically (abbreviated) and numerically. The third push indicates the seconds, which keep counting up until a fourth push to stop the display. Setting is typical with the "Zero-Seconds" feature to precisely set the time.

The case and bracelet construction are above average, compared to other watches that tried to compete for the market.  The JB bracelet is 14k gold-filled  and the case is either GF or a solid yellow colored base metal. The caseback is stainless. The time screen is Plexiglas but does have a nice recessed Chronex logo instead of being painted on the surface.  The case design is somewhat drab but the slopping top surface makes the watch appear thinner than most competitors. It does have a good feel on the wrist. gives this watch two thumbs up George . . . nice comeback!


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