Retro Blue Dot LED Wristwatch, retail $7.49
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated 01-24-11

I've only reviewed four watches prior to this, so please bear with me here.

You might remember LED wristwatches from the 1970s, heck, you might still have one.

The Retro Blue LED Watch is unusual not because of those bright blue LEDs, but because of the way it displays the time & date. Instead of traditional "digits" shown on other LED watches, this one uses curved series of dots to show the hours, minutes, month, and date.

It can display the time & date like other digital watches, and it has a leather band.


This picture shows the watch on my wrist, like it's supposed to be worn.

The LED wristwatch comes ready to use right out of the box. You may need to set the hour to the time zone you're in, and set the date as well - but is otherwise ready to go right away.

The wristband is a standard leather buckle type; fasten it to your wrist & adjust the size much as you would use a belt on your pants.

To read the time, press & release the button on the upper right once. The time will be displayed for ten seconds, and then automatically extinguish.

To read the date, press & release the button on the upper right two times. The date will be displayed for ten seconds, and then automatically extinguish.

No instructional materials were included, so I had to kinda fly by the seat of my pants here for a short time.

To set the watch, press & release the lower right button with a pointed object such as the "business-end" of a ballpoint pen or the tip of a pocket knife.

The "hours" row of dots (closest to the upper left corner of the face of the watch) will begin flashing. Press & release the top right button one or more times to get 1 to 12 dots lighted.

Press & release the lower right button again to get the "minutes" dots (closer to the lower right corner of the watch face) flashing. Press & release the top right button one or more times to get the dots corresponding to "minutes" lighted; 1 through 9 on the right, and 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 near the center.

Press & release the lower right button a third time to get the "month" value (from 1 to 12) to flash; this is the same as the "hours" row, but the "DATE" LED at the lower left of the watch face will now be lighted.

Press & release the lower right button a fourth time to set the day of the month; this is the same as the "minutes" lights, but the "DATE" LED at the lower left of the watch face will now be lighted.

Press & release the lower right button a fifth time to set the display intensity from "1" to "7" - with "1" being the dimmest setting.

Finally, press & release the lower right button a sixth time to allow normal functionality of the watch and exit "Set" mode.

While you're setting the time & date, you are only furnished with ten (10) seconds between button presses; if you take longer than this, all of the LEDs will extinguish themselves and you'll have to start over - well, the place you were at when you last pressed a button anyway - ***NOT*** "start over" as in starting from the very beginning anyway.

It is not stated how the batteries should be changed, so I don't have instructions for performing a battery change.

The watch uses a pair of CR2016 lithium coin cells.

Now that I've examined things, changing the batteries appears to be a fairly straightforward process.

Start by using the blade of a knife to pry off the bottom plate; set it aside. At this time, you ***MUST*** take note of how the "guts" are positioned inside the case.

Let's take a photo of that "just to be sure it's Westinghouse" (as my now-deceased best friend would have said) it's off to the Fotomat we go:

Note how the button is at the upper left and the spring on the watch's circuit board is right near it. This is how the watch's board should be replaced when you're finished here.

Remove the circuit board from the body of the watch. You can either gently lift it out using that spring, or just turn the watch over and dump it into your hand.

Using the tip of a ballpoint pen, gently push the batteries out by pushing them from the lower left (as viewed from the photograph directly above), to the upper right. Remove the translucent milky sleeve and set it aside, and get rid of the batteries themselves (dispose of them or recycle them if your community has a battery reclamation program in place).

Stack two new CR2016 lithium coin cells on top of one another; laying each cell so that its button-end (-) negative faces down. Place the milky sleeve around the two so that it totally encircles the pair.

Slide the pair onto the watch's circuit board, starting from the upper right and pushing toward the lower left; being certain that the button-ends (-) negatives of the cells face down. The watch should light up at this point; it will extinguish (go out) automatically approximately ten seconds later - this serves to tell you that the batteries have been installed correctly.

Place the circuit board back in the watch's body, orienting it so that the side with the batteries on it faces up and the spring is right near the button.

Place the back of the watch back on, and push firmly until it snaps into place.

See, told you that this was fairly straightforward!!!

You may need to reset the time & date when battery changing takes place.

Because this is a watch and not a flashlight, I won't try to flush it down the potty, stomp on it with old or used bowling "shooz", viciously throw it at a wall, a bathtub, or a wall-mounted porcelain urinator to see if it explodes (the watch, not the uranator), smack it against a steel rod, run over it with my Celebrity motorised wheelchair, or perform other potentially destructive tests on it that might be performed on a flashlight.

I did attempt to cut through the crystal (top window that protects the LED display) with the blade of a folding knife, and I was not successful.
This tells me that the crystal is made of glass (almost certainly mineral glass), not acrylic, polycarbonate, or other plastic.
Would I really try to cut up the crystal of a brand spanken new wristwatch I paid perfectly good money for?
You bet your sugar-coated toliet muscle (sweet patootie) I would, if it's in the name of science.

There is an O-ring between the back and the body of the watch, but I have no idea if it will leak around the switch buttons or not; so the best thing to tell you is no, it's not very water-resistant.

As a wristwatch, I think it's quite nice. And to see real live LEDs in it, that's even better. I love LEDs and things made with them, and this watch is no exception.

Most digital LED wristwatches cannot be read in direct sunlight, but I believe that this one can!!!
Since I live in Federal Way WA. USA (not far from Seattle WA. USA ), that big hydrogen fusion reactor in the sky (you know, the bright, type G2 star in interplanetary space located approximately 91 million miles (~146 million km) from the Earth in January {most commonly quoted as "93,000,000 miles"}...o yeah, the SUN) may take awhile to show up here so that I can prove this.

The intensity is high enough that for using the watch in normal indoor situations, I'd recommend setting the intensity to one of the lower values (I find that minimum intensity {setting 1} is more than sufficient here!) However, personal preferences vary; that's why there are seven intensity settings to choose from.

(Update 02-28-09): At 4:24pm PDT on 02-26-09, the sun came out (fully free of clouds), and I had no problems whatsoever reading this watch in direct sunlight with its intensity level at 1 (minimum)!!!

A picture showing the watch displaying the time (9:24pm).

Photograph of an oscilloscope screen showing that the LED display is multiplexed (or under PWM {Pulse Width Modulation} control - both are common techniques to extend battery life in LED watches). The watch's display was at maximum candiosity
* for this test.

* The term "candiosity" (pronounced "") refers to a piņata's
level of candy fill; it is also the title of a Viva Piņata episode.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this wristwatch.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; newer spectrometer software setting used.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 450nm and 490nm to pinpoint peak wavelength.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of another of the watch's LEDs (the one over the "DATE" legend); this one looks noticeably "bluer" than the others.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 450nm and 490nm to pinpoint peak wavelength.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the watch going from 8:59pm to 9:00pm.
This clip is approximately 3.333 megabytes (3,500,612 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than seventeen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 01-30-09, and was received on the afternoon of 02-23-09.

I believe that this product was made in either Hong Kong or China. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

UPDATE: 08-06-09
I successfully (well, mostly) changed the batteries after noticing that the LED display had dimmed to the point where it could not be seen in early-evening sunlight. I say "mostly" here because the "AM", "PM", and "date" indicators failed to come on; this was rather easily remedied however, with the application of a small piece of tape to the inside of the back plate where the spring on the circuit board normally presses against it.

UPDATE: 08-13-09
The time & date change at apparently random intervals with no input from the user; I have noted this on several occasions over the last two months or so.

UPDATE: 08-14-09
At 6:35pm PDT on 08-11-09, I happened to be reading the time on this watch when it suddenly changed.

UPDATE: 09-19-09
Q: If I were stuck on a desert island and absolutely, positively needed to know the time on a regular basis, would I choose to have this watch on?
A: Probably not, simply due to the apparently random "time shifting" behaviour.

Don't get me wrong here - this is a very nice watch, but one that I would not stake my life on because of the aforementioned errant behaviour.

UPDATE: 01-24-11
The time & date changed on this watch without provocation yesterday morning. I had used it as a temporary replacement for the Ohsen Red LED Wristwatch, which had become broken the day before. So I'm now using the Green LED Dot Matrix Display Wristwatch in both of their steads, even though the band is missing a rather crucial screw.

Truly unique in the world of portable timepieces
Bright enough to be viewed in direct sun
Also bright enough to use as an emergency, short-range flashlight

Novel way of displaying time/date may take some getting used to

    PRODUCT TYPE: LED digital wristwatch
    No. OF LAMPS: 29
    SWITCH TYPE: Momentary pushbuttons for viewing & setting time and date
    CASE MATERIAL: Stainless steel body, mineral glass crystal, leather band
    BEZEL: Mineral glass crystal (window) protects LED display
    BATTERY: 2x CR2016 lithium coin cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER- AND PEE-RESISTANT: Not stated - but the safest thing to say here is "NO"
    ACCESSORIES: 2x CR2016 cells
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    Because this product is not intended to emit
    light, the standard "star" rating will not be used.

Retro Blue Dot LED Wristwatch *

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