Gillette Reflex 312
The "poor man's P4" gives the time with a turn of the wrist
In the mid 1970s, LED watches were a craze that everyone wanted a piece of. Even companies that had never before built timekeeping devices such as Gillette and General Electric got involved in building LED watches.
The Gillette Reflex is notable for two reasons. First, of course, it's a Gillette, from the same company that was founded in 1895 by King Camp Gillette to manufacture and sell safety razors. The Reflex was Gillette's only foray into watchmaking. Next, and most important, is the reason for the name "Reflex". The Reflex has the unique feature that if you turn the watch to a 30 degree angle as you would naturally when viewing the time and hold it there for one second, the time displays automatically! No need to push a button!
The Reflex is one of only two LED models that contained mercury switches and activated in hands-free mode. The other was the Pulsar P4, which activated when you flick your wrist back and forth in a quick rotational motion. The Gillette reflex uses position rather than acceleration to activate the time so it is less prone to activating inadvertantly from random quick wrist motions. On the other hand, the wrist flick motion of the Pulsar activates immediately instead of requiring you to wait for one second and is also a lot of fun. Both systems work well once you get used to them.
The Reflex is a well made watch with a chunky, but still comfortable stainless steel case and bracelet. The crystal is acrylic rather than glass. The digits on the Reflex are a bit smaller than they are on the Pulsar, but they are quite bright and readable. One area where the Reflex is a bit dated is its date feature, which displays the day of the month only. There is no month capablity or "smart calendar", so you need to reset the date on months that have less than 31 days.
This is a well made watch with great novelty value and is a lot of fun to wear. It almost seems to read your mind the way it activates when you turn your wrist! It's also somewhat uncommon and therefore sought after by digital watch enthusiasts.
The bracelet is complete and will fit a large 8" wrist. The watch is "signed" in only two places - on the clasp and on the case back. The watch crystal has never had a logo imprinted on it, even when the watch was new.
This Gillette Reflex is in almost mint condition with only the slightest scratches visible on the highly polished sides of the case.
Face / Hands: Excellent.
All LED digits and segments are complete and bright.
The acrylic crystal is clear and free of scratches. It has been polished to a glossy mirror shine.
Band / Bracelet: Excellent.
The original stainless steel bracelet is in minty condition. It is complete and comfortably fits a large 8" wrist.
Function / Accuracy: Excellent.
All functions including the wrist-tilt work perfectly. Digital quartz accuracy.