The first LED (light-emitting-diode) digital wristwatches appeared around 1972, when an inventor named Roger W. Riehl produced an all-electric watch with no moving parts. Called the Synchronar, the watch featured red LEDs and utilized solar panels to power the timepiece’s NiCad battery. The first Synchronars cost $1,700, but by the end of the decade the price had dropped to about $130.

Around the same time, Hamilton Watch Company launched the "Pulsar-P1." These 18k gold units had an original price tag of $2,100—for some collectors they remain the Holy Grail of vintage LED wristwatches since only the 30 or so examples are known to exist. More widely available are the Pulsar P2s, famously worn by Roger Moore in the 1973 James Bond movie, “Live and Let Die.”

Other vintage LED wristwatches favored by collectors are calculator watches. These include the 1977 Pulsar 3822 and the 1977 Hewlett-Packard HP-01. Models with green displays are also rare.

Even though they were considered state of the art at the time, LED wristwatches had their drawbacks—they drew a lot of power, which caused some manufactures to make models that forced the wearer to hold a button down in order to see the time. For this reason and others, LEDs were largely replaced by more efficient, always-on LCD (liquid-crystal-diode) displays in the mid-1970s—Texas Instruments mass-produced one model for only $20.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Nerd Watch Museum

Nerd Watch Museum

This gallery of hundreds of LCD and calculator watches from the 1980s includes nerd-friendly brands like Casio, Sei… [read review or visit site]

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Excellent Vintage Pulsar Led P2 Dot Display 14k Goldfilled WatchVintage Pulsar Led 902 Calculator Watch Flick Wrist Auto Command Dow Gold FilledHamilton Led Watch - Near-mint - 1970s "qed"Vtg 1970's Bulova Computron Digital Red Led Watch N6 Work 1o Kt RgpVintage 1970's Time Computer Inc Pulsar Digital Red Led Wrist Watch,218391Vintage Rare 1977 Longines Gemini Ii Lcd Led Digital Watch Dual Display UhrMicrosonic Nos Rare Old Vintage 1970s 70s Digital Led L.e.d Lcd Mens Swiss WatchVintage Omega Tc3 Led Watch White Gold FilledMen's Vintage Red Led Wrist Watch. Ns. Works Good. Great Condition. Vintage Hamilton Golden Red Led Digital Computer Wrist Watch KojaksVintage (case And Band) Omega Watch Led (plaque Or 80 Microns) Very Rare (parts)Casio G-shock Twin Sensor Super Led Black Ditigal Sport Wrist Watch - Gdf100-1aRare Vintage Micrel Red Led Watch. By Windert. Scarce Style With Manual. WorkingVintage 1970s Asymmetric Hughes Aircraft Led Digital Wrist WatchVintage Omega Tc1 Led Watch White Gold Filled70's Vintage Space Age Led Watch Wristwatch No Brand01 The One: Ibiza Ride Iii, Horizontal - Cool Led Fashion Watch (irh102rb1)Rare Men's Red Led Digital Vintage Watch In A Good ConditionTokyoflash Kisai Tenmetsu Led Wrist Watch BlackValor 4: Digital Led Watch - Retro StyleThe White Tardis Led Watch With Blue Animated Display In Black Alien Bag01 The One: Kerala Trance - Mid Size Binary Led Watch (ktl102r1)01 The One: Ibiza Ride - Sport, Led Watch (ic900m3gy) Japan Vintage Citizen 1481010 Led Movt Quartz Men WatchMens Diesel Led Wrist Watch Model Dz7025 New Battery Light, Date, Time Bacardi G-shock Style Watch Shock Water Resistant Led Backlight ProgrammableSolsuno: Rare & Unique 21st Century Led Watch W/ Alarm & Rotating Bezel (700ss)New Ohsen Digital Led Date Black Rubber Sport Waterproof Men Boy Watch Gift Oh03Vintage Mercury 1980's Usa Gents Red Led Quartz WatchNew Skmei Men Sports Watches Led Light 50m Waterproof Alarm Digital Red 0939Texas Instruments Led Digital Working Men Wrist Watch Ap3501 The One: Split Screen - Cool Binary Led Watch (sc115b3)Nike Logo Led Mirror Watch For Her And Him,from $ 0.99 !7 Colors Led Light Digital Analog Army White Mens Boys Quartz Waterproof WatchLuxury Gentle Man Men's Blue Led Lava Style Iron Samurai Metal Bracelet WatchesCasio G-shock Ga100mc-2a Watch - 200m Wr - Auto Led - Military Cloth Watch BandBig Case Shark Quartz Digital Led Date Mens Luxury Sport Stainless Steel WatchSkmei New Casual Sport Waterproof Light Led Digital Men's Watch Blue 0931Cool Ohsen Led Digital Silver Summer Diver Quartz Sport Watch Men Boy Gifts Oh23Ohsen Digital Led Analog Summer Diver Men Boy Quartz Sport Watch New Gifts Oh22Casio Mens Aqs800w-1b2 Tough Solar 100m Led World Time Sports Watch New WarrantyBlack Yellow Mens Cool Shark Date Digital Led Big Dial Sport Steel Quartz WatchGreen Light Flash Led Watch Black Rubber Digital Box Sport Mens Boy Gift C D050120x Magnifier Magnifying Eye Glasses Loupe Lens Jeweler Watch Repair Led LightMen Touch Screen Day Date Sport Watch Led Digital W/ Siliconewrist Watch BlackWhite Tardis Blue Animated Led Watch In Funky Satin Alien BagProtable 20x Magnifiers Eye Watch Repairing Magnifying Led Lights Lens LoupesBlack Tree Shaped Blue Led Leather Touch Screen Digital Wrist Watch Unisex EvhpVintage Microsonic Led Wrist Watch, Working.Luxury Red Mens Shark Digital Date Led Sport Steel Band Quartz Analog Army WatchNew Japanese Fairy Tail Logo Anime Led Watch Clock Timer Black Cosplay **hot**Shark Hot Deals Led Digital Date Day Red Men Stainless Steel Sport Quartz WatchSkmei New Man's Watches Sport Waterproof Multifunction Led Gigital Blue 0931New Skmei Digital Sports Watch Led Light 50m Waterproof Men's Yellow 0939Top ! Black Fighter Plane Oversized Stylish Led Stopwatch Sport Wrist Watch,r2bkRed Men Sports Watches Blue Light Race Speed Car Dot Fashion Digital Led WatchesFashion Blue Led Binary Dial Watch Black Leather Band Digital Unisex Gifts L0505Black Man Men's Red Led Lava Style Gifts Iron Samurai Metal Bracelet WatchesLed Sequential Tail Light Turn Signal Lamp Kit Chevy Hhr 2006-2011 (watch Video)Casio Mens Aqs800w-1b Tough Solar 100m Led World Time Sports Watch Aq-s800w-1bv