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Q.2 Watches with Alarm

11970Nepro-Watch of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, releases the 'Nepro-Zanzara' in two different versions. It is the first watch in the world with an electric alarm and a mechanical movement. Nepro-Watch was world famous for its small electronic alarms. In 1970, the company manufactured the 'Minisonic', size 30x18x16 mm (movement cal. FHF 69), the smallest alarm clock in the world and very successful with aprroximately 700,000 pieces sold. Nepro is an abbreviation for 'New Products'. The company was founded January 19th 1951 by the Italian Paolo Spadini. Despite several failures, the company succeeded in marketing new and innovative products. In 1960 it launched the first pocket-sized radio alarm clock in the world: the 'Minivox'. In 1961, Nepro issued a watch with electrical radio-contact: the 'Rotocontact'. In 1963 the 'Diplomat' followed; a radio alarm clock functioning by means of batteries.
Despite an alarmingly bad economical situation in Switzerland at that time, Nepro SA established 'MSA-Modules Electronic SA' in 1976, a company that would be occupied with the manufacturing and assembling of LCD modules. In 1989, Nepro SA marketed the first and in 1991 the second generation of the 'Magic Touch'. A crownless watch set directly by pressing on the watch crystal. A new micromotor allows the hands to be driven backward as well as forward. At the Basle Fair of 1991 the company launched a prototype of an ultrasonic motor for application in watches. The ultrasonic motor had been jointly developed with Demix, Japan. Nepro-Spadini still exists today and remains an incredibly successful small watch manufacturer, developing and marketing a highly successful range of new products.
21972Nepro-Watch presents another novelty in Basle: the 'Memotron', an automatic alarm watch (cal. ETA 2671) with the world's smallest acoustic generator (size 8 mm3) called the 'Micro-Buzzer 500'.
31972In the same year, Nepro-Watch also launches the following interesting watch: the 'Elevox'. This is a mechanical watch (cal. FHF 69) with an electric alarm. The main resonator is formed by the watch crystal connected to a piezo-electric resonator. The 'Elevox' is also sold as a pocket watch.
41973Nepro shows the 'Memotron', caliber 651, in Basle. It contains an electric movement by Porta, Germany, and an electric buzzer.
51976Citizen Quartz Crystron LC/Alarm, the world's first LCD quartz watch with alarm. Known by calibers 9021A and 9021E. A signal of 2.048 Hz is generated by an electronic circuit. A transistor and a coil with a ferrite core amplify the signal to a higher tension, necessary for the piezo-electric buzzer.
61977ESA 934.912 with digital alarm.
71978The first digital quartz watch by Seiko with alarm, the A029, reaches the market.
81978Citizen releases its 'Quartz Crystron Multi Alarm' with LCD, cal.9100A.
91979ESA 900.911, analogue and digital display.
101981The 'Memoquartz' caliber ESA 926.311, developed by Ebauches SA Marin (EEM) is presented at the Basle Fair in April. It was the first analogue quartz watch with alarm which was equipped with an acoustic control, which would indicate when it would become necesssary to replace the battery.
111991Seiko launches the Silent Alarm, caliber 9M21A. This watch for the deaf was equipped with a small asymmetric rotor, that produces a mechanical vibration on the wrist.

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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

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