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C.22 Sir Clive Sinclair

Sinclair, one of the foremost English electronics engineers, has produced many innovative products.

1940Born in London.
1957Leaves school at an early age, to become a technical journalist.
1962'Sinclair Radionics Ltd', Clive Sinclair's first company is established in London. Sinclair becomes a producer of consumer electronics.
1967The company moves to Cambridge, where Sinclair launches his first pocket calculator, the 'Executive'. The case of the first edition is produced in solid gold.
1975When the calculator market stagnates, 'Sinclair Radionics Ltd.' focuses its hope on an entirely new product and launches the 'Black Watch', an exclusive and completely plastic LED watch with a 32 kHz quartz crystal and two batteries. Problems with the electronic chips and batteries used in the watches, forced the factory to take back large numbers of sold watches. 'Sinclair Radionics' succeeds in getting the watch to function properly by the end of 1976. At that time, however, the disappointed public has already shied away from the beautifully designed but nevertheless unreliable watch, which was officially presented at the FHEB 1976. Sinclair Radionics Ltd launches the 'Sovereign', a very sophisticated pocket calculator, designed by a team under supervision of John Pemberton. Sinclair receives the 'Queen's Award to Industry'.
1979'Sinclair Research' is formed.
1980Sinclair releases the first computer to sell for less than one hundred pounds, the ZX80, followed closely by the ZX81 in 1981 and the ZX Spectrum in 1982.
1985'Sinclair Vehicles' launches the 'C5', an electrically powered vehicle, which soon would become a collector's item.
1986The Sinclair computer range is sold to Amstrad Corporation, USA.
1992Sinclair launches an electric bicycle called the 'Zike at Olympia'.


The book 'The Sinclair Story' by Rodney Dale, published in 1985 by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd, London, covers the entire history of Sinclair products. The 'Black Watch' has three buttons, one on the back and two on the front. When the button on the back is pressed backwards in combination with the one on the front, hours and minutes are advanced. If used separately, the buttons on the front will adjust the hours and minutes indication separately. There are three versions of the 'Black Watch':

1The ordinary 'Black Watch'. Plastic watch case and plastic strap. A few were fitted with a metal bracelet. See page 39.
2The same as a Black Watch, originally issued in a kit, enabling the purchaser to manufacture his or her own watch.
3Prototypes made of white plastic. Very rare and hard to find.


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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

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