Sony Digimatic Clock Radio
People have been waking up to the sound of an alarm since 1787 when US clockmaker Levi Hutchins invented the first alarm clock. But it's only been since 1968 that people have been waking up to the sleek form and multi-functionality of a digital clock radio.
In 1968 Sony produced the world's first digital clock radio, 8FC-59 named Digital 24. The unit was an analog clock with a digital display, with individual number tiles that would flip over to show the correct time. By 1969 the 8FC series had become the Digimatic. By 1972 Sony was producing a Digimatic with LED display. The early LED models had wood veneer cases (like the 8FC-69WA), but
it was not long before plastic cases were the standard.
Enid likes to wake up beside something gorgeous. Daza likes to wake up listening to BBC Radio 4. Both are satisfied waking up beside this vintage Sony Digimatic Clock Radio Model No. ICF-C3L made in Taiwan. Manufactured in the days before Sony scientists forgot how to colour plastic anything other than silver or black.
We especially like the attention to detail, such as: a matching red plastic plug; plenty of cautions about the risk of electric shock if you remove the back of the clock; fast and slow options for setting the time and alarm; and that it receives MW, FM and LW radio signals or you can wake to the sound of a buzzer that sounds like a cheeping bird in distress - bound to wake you up.
- Sony's first digital clock - in red of course.
- Explore a 1975 Digimatic on YouTube in the dark to the seductive tones of Nick Gilder's Hot Child in the City.
- Scroll down to see the fabulous Sony Digimatic LED AM-FM Clock Radio, (circa 1972) Model No. 8FC-69WA with its red LED display and real wood cabinet.