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Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric alarm

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cybr

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Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric alarm

Post12 Sep 2016, 13:55

At one of the chapters - "Multifunctional Wrist Watches, 2. Watches with Alarm" of Pieter Doensen unique Book - "WATCH. History of the modern wrist watch", there are presented some of the first (wrist)watches with an electric/electronic alarm: http://doensen.home.xs4all.nl/q2.html
And there You may find my newest acquisition - Nepro Zanzara, as the ""the first (nr. wrist) watch in the world with an electric alarm" but "a mechanical movement". Pls see the 1970' Nepro's advertising below:
neprozanzara.jpg

This was possible because of an unique - at the time - Nepro patended electric (mini)buzzer, later called Elesonic/Elevox, initially released for the first mechanical (mini) travel clocks - like Nepro Minisonic - cca 1967-1970.
The internal architecture of the watch, based on a decent Swiss FHF 69 mechanical movement AND a Nepro''s patented Rotocontact electric contact, may be seen on the below photo:
nepro_zanzara_movement.jpg

And finally, my recently arrived Nepro Zanzara:
nepro_zanzara1.jpg


You may hear the sound of this first wristwatch electronic buzzer here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwyKgUiiGOs

Regards,
:dwf:
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Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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richard_uk

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Sep 2016, 18:49

I used to have lots of Nepro clocks of all different styles, I still have a few, but never seen this watch before, I didn't know they made one. I'm pretty sure I have, or had, a clock the same as this but not converted to a watch.
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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Sep 2016, 20:43

Thanks for the reply and info.
And You're right: back in 1970, basically Nepro has converted one of their successful line of mini travel alarm clocks with electronic buzzers (as the one You've had - probably a MiniSonic), into the first wristwatch with electronic alarm.
After all, a smart move, since they remained in the history of wristwatches as the first ones that had such a product, without having to do much changes in their assembly lines. :)
And btw, Nepro name is an abbreviation for 'New Products'. 8-)
When I'll have some time, I will take more photos with the watch disassembled, to illustrate what You've said.
Regards,
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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richard_uk

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Sep 2016, 21:10

Just looked through the ones I have and found one that looks like the watch, the sticker on the box says 'time book' not sure if that was the official name for it but the cover does make it look like a little book, here it is..

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richard_uk

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Sep 2016, 21:11

Sorry the images are huge I'm on the iPad so couldn't resize them.
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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Sep 2016, 21:29

Thanks a lot for the photos!
Yes, You've found EXACTLY the right one! My Nepro Zanzara seems to be exactly the same watch but put in a silver case with a wrist band...and named Nepro Zanzara!
An educated guess would be that Nepro have tried to expand their successful product lines (more than 150 000 mini-alarm clocks sold until 1970) without to much trouble for their designers and without much changes on their assembly lines... :scratch:
The result: the same watch sold as Time Book for those who wanted a mini travel clock and Sold as Zanzara wrist watch - probably for the young people who wanted to look cool back in 1970 :))
So, Nepro = New Products :))
Anyway, from what I've read on other online sources, the wrist watch version is quite rare, so it seems that the young ones in 1970 were not so tempted to wear an (even mini) alarm clock-like device at their wrist :)
Regards,

:dwf:
Last edited by cybr on 18 Sep 2016, 19:35, edited 3 times in total.
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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cybr

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post14 Sep 2016, 08:46

To not create the false impression (from the above photos) that the watch is huge :), here are the aprox. dimensions of the Nepro Zanzara:
42 mm x 34 mm x 12 mm
Regards,
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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simone

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post03 Oct 2016, 10:53

And just for fun "zanzara" is an italian word that means mosquito... :grin1:
Some watches are made to last only as long as they are fashionable
Some watches, simply are not made to last
Seiko watches are designed to withstand the ravages of both time and fashion
Someday perhaps, all watches will be made this way
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cybr

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post03 Oct 2016, 20:22

Thanks Simone...and You're completely right: :-)
1. If one may hear the sound of Nepro Zanzara...it really may sound as an electronic "mosquito"... :grin1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwyKgUiiGOs
2. On the other hand, the founding father of the Swiss Nepro watch company was an Italian man - Paolo Spaldini - so can we really wonder about the Italian/Latin origin of the "Zanzara" name for their first in the world wristwatch with an electronic alarm ? :)
http://shop.joseph-watches.com/joseph/m ... 976&-find=

Best regards,
:dwf:
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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cybr

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Re: Nepro Zanzara - the first wristwatch with an electric al

Post12 Dec 2016, 02:03

Some good news about my Nepro Zanzara: I just had the Zanzara and its FHF 69 movement serviced by my favorite watchmaker (I had to wait almost 3 weeks for him to finish the job - and I may consider myself lucky, even if he was also intrigued/interested about this quite rare watch :grin1:, because the guy is really a wizard regarding old movements and has quite many requests!). :-D
But I provided him all the "ancient" documentation I have found about the Nepro Zanzara and its quite strange patented contacts, so the watch (and its quite old 1970 movement/unique electric alarm/Rotocontact) is now in an excellent working condition! :-D
:dwf:
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)

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