Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

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  • Friday, January 2nd, 2009 - 1:14 pm
  • Casio Casiotron R-17 (X-1R)

  • Once the site gets going, I plan to update once every week or so. But since the site only has one entry, I thought it needed some more content sooner than later.

    I woke up to a brand new package today. My latest eBay score.

    Today's watch is the Casiotron R-17, also called the X-1R. (Back in the day, Casio had multiple model numbers for the same watch. Not sure why?) This is one of Casio's earliest models from the mid 70's, and the first model to offer some pretty distinct features. I say distinct, but what I really mean is weird.

    It has world time, but it is only good if you are traveling to these 6 cities: Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Paris.
    It has a stopwatch, but it only counts in seconds, not miliseconds.
    It has a counter, which simply counts the number of times you press a button.
    It has "time memory", which simply records the time when you press a button.

    And switching between these modes is so tricky, I will not even mention it here.
    UPDATE: Well, here are the instructions

    Anyway, the watch arrived in beautiful NON working condition, and a fresh battery with A/C did not help. What do I do in these situations?

    Take drastic measures. :) Above is the R-17, disassembled for cleaning. I found that in most cases, a simple cleaning around the battery contacts is good enough to revive seemingly dead modules. We'll see if that will work for this dead watch.

    This is the area I want to clean. Unlike Casio models from the 80's, many of their 70's models are held together with screws! So you have to carefully remove the screws to disassemble the watch and expose the battery contact areas. There are several things to keep in mind: do NOT clean contacts with a screwdriver or knife. In most cases you will scratch through the copper coated contacts making the watch even more susceptible to future corrosion problems. The best method, in my opinion, is to use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.

    After good cleaning, I wait for the alcohol to evaporate and reassemble the watch.

    Did my efforts pay off?

    Yes it did!

    Another thing to keep in mind when working with Casiotron models: the front plate is often held together with the module using some tiny pegs, as you see on the left. Those pegs line up with tiny holes in the module's face. Just be careful to line them up when you re-assemble the watch--otherwise you'll break those pegs and your watch face will look crooked!

    Watch going into its case. Before o-ring on the left, after o-ring on the right. Normally I grease the o-ring in some kind of silicon grease, but since I don't intend to expose this watch to water I just skipped that step. Silicon grease not only improves water resistance; it also prolongs the life of the o-ring, preventing dry-rotting for years to come! (So really, I should grease it whether or not I intend to use it in water.)

    Next, the backplate goes on the watch. Here is another area where these old Casiotrons are weird! The backplate goes in first aligned by a small notch on top, and then a ring (which is also a screw) goes on top of it and screws it down. Remember, gentle pressure is all you need.

    Now insert the battery and the battery cover. The battery cover is completely useless because the electronics inside must be reset using the AC terminal when you change the battery. And the only way to get to the AC terminal is by removing the back cover entirely. So what's the point of having a battery cover???

    Well, it's a beautiful watch. Look at those beautiful stainless steel links. That beautiful mineral glass crystal. A testament to the time back when Casio sold these for over a hundred dollars (in 70's money!). They sure don't make them like this anymore. Nowadays, watches that look like this are almost always mechanical watches. Although Casio's current Oceanus line comes close in quality, they don't have any pure LCD watches like this anymore. :(

    And now it's back in the box, where it will never see the light of day again. All collectors should keep their watch in boxes so that they can never wear it. =D

    One last comment about this watch. It's HEAVY. It's a whopping 4 oz., compared to the paltry 2.7 oz. of the W-36 marlin I mentioned in the last entry.

  • Filed under: watch
  • Comments!
  • » Hi!
    I need to find a module like this and if it´s possible a new glass....
    can anybody please help me?
    thank you so much
  • by: avalondust, submitted Friday, October 16th, 2009 - 12:52 pm
  • »
    Hi Everybody !
    I am lucky to have one Casiotron, R-17, Sr. No.58400, but not sure what type of cell is standard for it.
  • by: Khalid Parvez, submitted Friday, October 22nd, 2010 - 11:35 pm
  • » Thanks a bunch. Now my watch is set and I would have never been able to guess my way to that.
  • by: Bob, submitted Friday, July 20th, 2012 - 1:41 pm
  • » Hi Everybody !
    I am lucky to get another model S-14, in good condition. My last comment is above, after that, nobody given a comment.
  • by: Khalid Parvez, submitted Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 - 8:41 am
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