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Texas Instruments TI-104

A display that's big and bright, from deep in the heart of Texas


Texas Instruments was the company that brought LED watches to the masses and started a price war among digital watch companies. Unfortunately, this price war also had the dual impact of putting most LED watch companies out of business and also giving LED watches a reputation for being cheap and disposable instead of precision high tech instruments. The watch industry and the cachet of digital watches have never fully recovered.

Texas Instruments Transistor Advertisement from 1958

The TI-104 has many of the attributes of much more expensive watches.

First of all, the case and bracelet are solid and heavy, yet still has an elegant curve to wrap around the wrist without feeling chunky. The case has an elegrant vertical aspect ratio, which is relatively uncommon on digital watches. The time screen on this watch is glass unlike the plastic screens found on most of their later, more inexpensive watches.

Next, the display on this LED watch is fantastic, very similar to the display of the Pulsar P4. The display has nice large and bright digits that have a vertical aspect ratio to match the form factor of the watch.

Many inexpensive watches had tiny little LED digits and often used little magnifiers in front of the digits to make them look bigger but made the displays unreadable from the side. This model has large bright digits that need no magnifiers and is therefore very readable from any angle.


This Texas Instruments model 104 is in fair condition with numerous small nicks scratches on the case and crystal. The Texas Instruments logo is almost worn off the front of the crystal. The bracelet fits a full size 8" wrist.

Case: Good.
The case has numerous small scratches and marks as shown in the photos above. However, it has a nice polish and still shines nicely. The stainless steel case back is in excellent shape with no significant marks.

Face / Hands: Excellent.
All LED digits and segments are complete and bright.

Crystal: Good.
The crystal is nice and smooth but has a few small marks. Also, the Texas Instruments logo at the bottom is almost worn off.

Band / Bracelet: Good.
The bracelet has a few small marks but retains a nice shine like the case. It will fit a large 8" wrist.

Function / Accuracy: Excellent.
All functions work perfectly. Digital quartz accuracy.