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Gruen LCQ

The successor to the Gruen Teletime, which was the world's first wristwatch with a modern LCD display!


This Gruen LCQ is the successor to the Gruen Teletime, which was the world's first wristwatch using a modern "field effect" liquid crystal display.

The Gruen LCQ came out in about 1974, shortly after the very first digital wristwatches. The LCQ uses a very similar module as the Teletime and functions identically, except that this version has more slanted digits and a 24 hour time display. Note that both models are set using a stem like a traditional mechanical watch.

Gruen Teletime Advertisement from July 1973

The Gruen Teletime featured the first modern liquid crystal display used in a wristwatch, which is almost identical to the displays commonly used today in wristwatches and most other forms of electronic gadgets.

The "field effect" LCD display in the Teletime applies a tiny current to a thin sheet of liquid crystal material, causing the liquid crystals to align, "polarizing" the light that passes through. When the light passes through another polarizer, the display turns dark where the liquid crystals are aligned and remains a lighter color where the liquid crystals are in their natural random orientation. These electronically controlled black on grey regions are arranged to form digits. A four digit time display like the one on the Teletime has three seven segement digits, one two segment digit and a colon, for a total of 24 independently controlled display regions. This technology has continued to be used almost unchanged from its original form 40 years ago and will probably continue for a very long time.

The Gruen LCQ uses an interesting and uncommon crown and stem based mechanism for setting the time instead of buttons. To set the hours, pull the crown all the way out and turn 45 degrees clockwise. To set the minutes, push the crown in slightly and turn 45 degrees counterclockwise. Push the crown all the way in to exit time setting mode. A few early LCD watches from 1973 to 1974 used stem set mechanisms, which were discontinued and never used again, which is a shame since it's a classy and effective system.


Gruen Teletime Owner's Manual (Click to view)

Case: Excellent.
The case is almost mint with its original brushing and nice, sharp edges. The only real flaws are a few scratches on the case back.

Face / Hands: Very good.
The face is in great condition with no discoloration or visible signs of aging. There are a few very small marks at the top of the face

Crystal: Excellent.
The acrylic crystal is essentially perfect with no nicks, scratches, or marks of any kind.

Band / Bracelet: Excellent.
The original bracelet is minty perfect and complete. The clasp is also minty with no scratches or marks. The bracelet comfortably fits an 8" wrist.

Function / Accuracy: Excellent.
This watch works perfectly. Digital quartz accuracy. This unusual model features 24 hour time instead of the usual 12 hour time.