The 1970's Take Design Off The Rails

A couple of days ago @WatchYourIntruder showed his lovely Certina DS2 https://www.watchcrunch.com/WatchYourIntruder/posts/certina-ds2-the-70s-is-here-to-stay-on-my-wrist-7467 .  In the comments I mentioned that certain 1970's watches were not so fortunate in their design choices. Behold the Prim ref. 68 276 1 (caliber 68 movement, based on the ETA 1080).  This style was only made in 1974.

Horizontal indices, let that sink in.  Why, oh why, would a watch ever have horizontal indices?  Horizontal indices work against accuracy. Compare it to the Certina.  The indices on the Certina are instantly recognizable and readable. Compare it to my WRUW watch from today:

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This is a Seiko 2406-3020, also from 1974. It may be my most difficult watch to read.  That is a function of my declining short range eyesight, not a problem with the indices. The Seiko originally came on a bracelet that was long gone by the time that I got it.

Now, to be fair to the Prim, because analog dials are so imprinted in our brains, indices are not needed to tell the time.  Many minimalist watches have proven this.  But, what were they thinking in 1974?

Prim was Czechoslovakia's only watch brand. It was a point of pride because this made Czechoslovakia one of only twelve countries able to produce watches.  And unlike East German brands, they were fully jeweled. (Allegedly, the East German brands, alone in the world, did not have access to synthetic jewels.)  They were founded after the Second World War and began serious production in the mid-1950's.  The original movements were based off of Lip movements like many of their Soviet counterparts. The factory was/is in Nove Mesto nad Metuji in what is now the Czech Republic. In the 1960's the factory was renamed Elton, although the Prim brand remained its principal label.  Prim ceased functioning after the Velvet Revolution.  Two companies currently lay claim to the Prim legacy.  One owns the name, the other owns the factory.

I have wanted a Prim for some time to add to my collection of lumpenproletariat watches.  So, I grabbed this odd '74.  Prim experimented with dials in the 1970's, much like the Soviets did. Their pre-1968 models are simple and elegant. (They changed the logo in 1968.)

That Certina shows that not all was ugly polyester, bell bottoms, and side burns in the 1970's. The palette of colors, cases, and dials was expanded and are still reflected in what we see today.  There is no Brew today without these 1970's watches.

But, horizontal indices? That was a dead end. I am happy to add it to the family.

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The time is censored.

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Or redacted.

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I love it.

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Thank you for the kind words.

When you advertised your newcomer I expected the watchcase going bonkers. Cause some did. But your Prim looks great. Horizontal indices make no sense though and don’t flatter the otherwise great looking watch. I have seen many samples of squared indicis that I kind of like. Very approriate for the design language from the 70s. Thank you for background story. Informative and interesting as always. Found this model showing that Prim wasn’t alone 

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@Aurelian You think that Prim's bad. I have this, but in a green dial. Why even bother with the indices at this point if you're just gonna lay them out in a straight line?

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I’m going to leave this here:

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This is a terrible watch for many reasons. It was born in the 70s, it should have died in the 70s (literally as well in all fairness).

and I don’t own one of these, but yeah… the 70s watch of the future 

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WatchYourIntruder

Thank you for the kind words.

When you advertised your newcomer I expected the watchcase going bonkers. Cause some did. But your Prim looks great. Horizontal indices make no sense though and don’t flatter the otherwise great looking watch. I have seen many samples of squared indicis that I kind of like. Very approriate for the design language from the 70s. Thank you for background story. Informative and interesting as always. Found this model showing that Prim wasn’t alone 

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The case is actually fairly sedate behind that bonkers dial.

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santiago

@Aurelian You think that Prim's bad. I have this, but in a green dial. Why even bother with the indices at this point if you're just gonna lay them out in a straight line?

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I have seen some Raketas with this strange affliction.  It would be better to have nothing on the dial.

Image 1 - RARE RAKETA TV Gold AU10+ USSR Watch Wrist Soviet Vintage Square Luxury 2609.HA
Image 1 - Vintage RAKETA Baker Soviet Russian Gold-Plated TV case Watch 1970s Bracelet
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I love all of these!  Keep 'em coming.

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Aurelian

I have seen some Raketas with this strange affliction.  It would be better to have nothing on the dial.

Image 1 - RARE RAKETA TV Gold AU10+ USSR Watch Wrist Soviet Vintage Square Luxury 2609.HA
Image 1 - Vintage RAKETA Baker Soviet Russian Gold-Plated TV case Watch 1970s Bracelet

Agreed. Just leave the hands. Period. Better yet, just chunk the whole watch. Clean canvas. Go back and draw something else.

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This is about as far I dip my toe into the 70s. Not mine though, but actually not so bad regarding the indicies.

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WatchYourIntruder

This is about as far I dip my toe into the 70s. Not mine though, but actually not so bad regarding the indicies.

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I considered bidding on this watch:

Image 2 - VINTAGE CARAVELLE MENS WRIST WATCH
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Aurelian

I considered bidding on this watch:

Image 2 - VINTAGE CARAVELLE MENS WRIST WATCH

It’s always nice with variations in the collection. Go for it👍
 

These designers couldn’t choose between horisontal or vertical.

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Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider with the vertical indices, but not confident enough to leave it that way. They’ve reissued it too.

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roberto
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Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider with the vertical indices, but not confident enough to leave it that way. They’ve reissued it too.

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They got it. Printing helplines so you get the time right.