Armitron LC 415
A clone of the Seiko D031 - the world's first wristwatch with a dot matrix display
IThis Armitron is a rebranded copy/clone of the Seiko D031, the world's first wristwatch with a dot matrix display. It was released around 1980 as another showcase demonstration of Seiko's superior digital quartz technology.
The centerpiece of this watch is obviously the unique 41x8 pixel dot matrix display. The watch displays the time using a nice 6 digit 6x8 pixel bitmap font (5x6 pixels for the seconds) and the day of the week and date using three alphanumeric characters. In addition, the designers couldn't help showing off a little bit and incorporated a nifty scrolling feature that displays the date and time in a scrolling marquee like a tiny broadway sign!
The watch has a nice minimalist design with just two buttons and a relatively simple and uncluttered face. Pressing the upper right button once displays the date. After displaying the date for 2 seconds, the date scrolls off to the left and the time scrolls in from the right. How cool is that!? If you press the right button a second time before the 2 seconds are up, then the watch instantly flips back to time mode. If you press the right button and hold it for 2 seconds, then the watch toggles into "marquee mode" where it continuously scrolls the date and time from right to left across the display! Also, for good measure, it's programmed to scroll the date across the display once after each hour.
In addition to its impressive dot matrix technology (for the time), this watch is also impressively small and thin. It's almost as thin as Seiko's thinnest watch at the time, the Seiko F231 and just a bit thicker than the Bulova Phantom from the same time frame.
This watch is a little difficult to photograph because the reflective front face changes colors depending upon the angle and lighting. From the front, it's a shiny gold mirror. From the side, in most light, it looks almost brown and it constantly shifts from gold to brown depending upon what is being reflected at the moment.
The case and case back are in excellent condition with only the tiniest signs of wear.
Face / Hands: Very good.
The reflective coppery face is in near perfect condition with no fading or discoloration. You might notice that the display has a tiny speck or mark on the LCD reflector to the upper left. Also, at some angles, you might notice that one column of pixels to the right has slightly higher contrast than the others. This is slightly visible in some of the photographs above.
Crystal: Very good.
The case would be mint except for a crack (but not a chip) in the crystal on the bottom right corner. Otherwise, the crystal has no scratches, chips, or nicks. Due to the small size and the reflective face, this isn't as noticeable as it appears in the photos.
Band / Bracelet: Very good.
The bracelet is not the original bracelet that shipped with the watch but is very close to the original one and matches the rosy gold color of the case almost perfectly. The bracelet comfortably fits an 8" wrist.
Function / Accuracy: Excellent.
This watch works perfectly. All function, including the back light are completely operational. Digital quartz accuracy.