Melody watches are pretty cool, ones with multiple melodies even better — but a watch that lets you program your own melody…priceless!
It has been suggested that Odyssey belonged to the UK electronic chain store Dixons, and they produced their own brand of watches under that name using mostly Beltime parts in the 1980s.
Thanks to a sticker inside the module, I can tentatively date this watch to around April 1982.
One slightly hidden but quite unusual feature of this watch is the ability to switch between American/British date format. I’ve only seen this in a couple of watches of this period and it’s a nice addition.
But what really makes this one special? It is, as far as I know, the only vintage LCD watch that lets you program whatever melody you like into it.
And that’s quite a feature! To accomplish this, it would have to have some writable ram to store these custom melodies, not to mention the functionality to even get the tunes in there in the first place.
It’s not the most intuitive watch, but that’s part of its charm – if it was too easy to use there wouldn’t be anywhere near as much satisfaction when you finally got your tune in there!
There is one built-in melody (The Sound of Music) and one space for you to make your own.
To make a custom melody you choose the note then the length of it (you can put rests in too) up to a max of 20 individual actions.
Thanks to the fabulously generous Mark Hill, I now have an electronic version of the manual. You can programme your melody in one of six keys — C Maj/A Min (default), G Maj/E Min (select sharp) or F Maj/D Min (select flat). The manual comes with a list of melodies but it’s more fun trying to find your favourite tunes in the right key and using them instead — thanks Mark!