ZENITH FUTUR TIME COMMAND ANA-DIGI QUARTZ LED 1975

 

Zenith of Switzerland introduced the "Time Command" series approx. in 1976 according  to Pieter Doensen's database. The cool and large design of the square version called "Futur" has made it one of the most collectible LED watches and due to the top-shelf Zenith brand it always reaches top dollar. Pictured here are two very similar versions which I refer to as the popular and common "asymmetric" (case ref. 02.0010.471) and rare but less handsome "symmetric" (case ref. 02.0010.473). It might be an earlier  (471) and late (473) modification of the same model or made for different markets.

 

 

Shown above are two types of boxes, the black&grey is more than likely a US version and the brown&beige a Swiss type. Aside differently fitted bracelets the asymmetry of the cooler version results from the command and setting buttons positioned differently on both sides of the case, additionally the case is smartly sandwiched with four screws and the plexi crystal is angled towards the top edge. The "symmetric" version has the buttons on the same level, the smaller square crystal is saphire glass and the case is very tightly snap-fitted what makes opening pure mayhem! The sandwiched case has a minimal gap that might be leveraged only with a thin and sharp blade. If you succeed without damage or injury I suggest using some abrasive to slightly angle the edge of the top part to enable easier opening in the future.

 

 

The plexi crystal on the "asymmetric" version is one assembly together with the LED indicator window so if damaged there is no chance for a quick workaround. The "Futur" utilizes the same "Time Command" base module as the oval Zenith "Defy" LED but with dislocated LED indicator. A side by side comparison is shown below. Transplanting parts between modules is possible and  is even easier between both of the "Futur" versions as the only difference are the asymmetric button contacts rivetted to the main module board (as shown with red arrows on left picture).    Please read technical hints provided in the "Defy" review which are the same for the "Futur". 1) The most useful hint is the freeze/power-save mode. After inserting batteries the bottom left button must be pressed to activate the watch, or it will not react!

 

 

2) The module in the Futur will only display if it is affixed to the case with two metal plates. These small plates are responsible for closing the electric circuit just like the external grey plastic ring with button contacts on the "Defy". That ring is screwed onto the module and when a button is depressed a button contact on the ring closes the electric circuit with the button contact on the module resulting in a display or setting function. If you want to troubleshoot a "Futur" module outside the case you will not succeed by placing it on a metal surface and then shorting that surface with the button contacts (what is the normal procedure with most LED watches). The batteries are not connected with the caseback so you must close the circuit (to get a readout) by shorting the button contacts on the module with the proper points on the module that would normally have case screws in them.

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Keywords: zenith led, zenith futur, zenith time command

Market value: 150-850$ (condition, box)

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