Zeon Coronation Street melody watch

Zeon Coronation Street melody watch

EVERYONE knows the Coronation Street tv theme – surely, it’s been on the box since 1960 !!!

Let that sink in — 63 years on the tv (as of when this post was written) and it’s still the same theme, with some differences, but even those didn’t come until it had spent 50 years on the air…

This from Wikipedia :

The show’s theme music, a cornet piece, accompanied by a brass band plus clarinet and double bass, reminiscent of northern band music, was written by Eric Spear. The original theme tune was called “Lancashire Blues” and Spear was paid a £6 commission in 1960 to write it.

The identity of the trumpeter was not public knowledge until 1994, when jazz musician and journalist Ron Simmonds revealed that it was the Surrey musician Ronnie Hunt. He added, “an attempt was made in later years to re-record that solo, using Stan Roderick, but it sounded too good, and they reverted to the old one.” In 2004, the Manchester Evening News published a contradictory story that a young musician from Wilmslow called David Browning had played the original version. However, after investigating further, his story was found to be false, Browning not knowing that the original trumpet player Ronnie Hunt was still alive, proving that he was the true and rightful player that performed the solo. With his union pay stubs and contract, Browning was proven false.

A new, completely re-recorded version of the theme tune replaced the original when the series started broadcasting in HD on 31 May 2010. It accompanied a new montage-style credits sequence featuring images of Manchester and Weatherfield. A reggae version of the theme tune was recorded by The I-Royals and released by Media Marvels and WEA in 1983.

But why is there a Coronation Street watch from the 1980s?

This watch shares the case, strap, LCD and most of the internals with Zeon’s popular James Bond watch. The Bond watch I can understand, lot of kids want to be James Bond, it’s a cool theme, and grown-ups today pay hundreds of dollars (or pounds) to own one.

But I can’t imagine too many youngsters queueing at their local Dixons or Argos in an attempt to secure a Coronation Street watch. And forget about adults — this is definitely a kids watch. If you don’t know much about Coronation Street, it’s a soap opera that centres on a cobbled, terraced street in the fictional Weatherfield, a town based on inner-city Salford, England. Yep, it’s as dreary as it sounds.

So while we’ll never know why it exists, it does. And now Corrie is more than 60 years old, the watch has something of a cool factor about it too.

This is the only one I’ve ever seen, and was part of a lot of broken, rusty, and battery-wrecked watches I won on eBay. There were a couple of James Bond watches, a couple of broken game watches, and a few calculator watches so I was happy to get it — but this was the watch I was really after. I had no idea if it played a melody or not, just hoped it would.

Inside the watch was in a shocking state. The solder had crumbled away and half the bottom LCD traces were gone. So it was hours of work to get it running, with no guarantee it played a melody or not — it might have just been a budget watch with few functions identical to plenty of others I have in a junk box.

But it wasn’t. Along with a stopwatch and hourly chime, it does indeed play the tv theme. And while most people will be familiar with the first 30 or so seconds of the tune, very few will know a full 90 seconds of it. Also if you start the stopwatch, the melody plays; and if you set the hourly chime, the whole melody plays every hour too…

I like melody watches, the quirkier the better, and this is one of the quirkiest! I don’t know why it’s here, but I’m glad it is!


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