Chamber exhibition Digital, which shows wristwatches with electric and electronic drives, quartz oscillators or watches controlled by a remote signal, March 3, 2023, Technical Museum in Brno.
Brno – Visitors to the Technical Museum in Brno will return to the era of wristband “digital watches”. The chamber exhibition consists of the collection of Libor Hovorka, which the museum acquired for its fund in 2020. It is unique in its scope in the Czech Republic. It shows a wristwatch with electric and electronic drive, with a quartz oscillator, controlled by a remote signal, using digital time indicators as well as a traditional dial and hands. The exhibition will last from March 7 to June 6, museum spokeswoman Šárka Motalová informed.
The Technical Museum has 572 exhibits in its collection of watches, of which about half are digital watches. “In addition to the products themselves, the comprehensive collection also contains relevant sources and literature, technical and production documentation, including promotional printed materials,” said curator Petr Nekuža.
Experts credit Warren Marisson with the discovery that brought competition to classic mechanical timepieces in the form of a battery-powered movement. In 1927, at Bell Laboratories in the United States, he developed the first quartz clock using a block of crystal stimulated by an electric current. “The golden era of digital watches is the 1950s to the 1990s. After that, watches controlled by a radio signal with absolute precision came into production,” said Nekuža. He took part in the creation of two publications dedicated to the Prim brand as well as in the large “primek” exhibition in Brno. He also collected electric and electronic watches from many countries. The exhibition thus provides an overview of global developments.
“Visitors can admire, for example, the unique Hamilton Electric watch produced in 1957 in the USA, which belongs to analog flywheel watches with contact switching and a moving coil. Another exceptional exhibit is a Bulova watch Accutron from 1962, which use as a timekeeping element a tuner powered by a circuit of an electric oscillator with one transistor,” said Nekuža.
According to the curator, one of the first watches using solar energy from 1974 is also noteworthy. Those interested can enjoy also for a collection of wristwatches with an LCD display from manufacturers Texas Instruments, Seiko, Omega and Longines and for the youngest category of digital watches – radio-controlled watches.