Friday, July 23, 2010

Knight Rider Watch

File under "Wanted One Of These Since I Was A Kid". Yeah, it's a bit of 80's cheese, but man oh man when I first saw this on TV I thought it was just about the coolest thing since sliced bread. Back when cell phones were just a dream, and David Hasslehoff was cool, this communicator watch was all the rage.

Well, in MY mind it was all the rage.

I picked this up from a Knight Rider enthusiast who spent MANY years and dollars researching the piece and perfecting it into the item you see before you.

I will be honest with you. My collecting habits have changed a lot over the years, and I would even go so far as to say that my tastes have "matured" in some ways. There was a time when I would buy something simply because it was cool, even if it belonged to a property that I had no real interest in. Sometimes, a person would build something that just looked neat, and I had to have it. Over the years, I noticed that I was stacking up a lot of stuff that just didn't float my boat, so I re-focused my interest on properties that really held a place in my heart, like The Fifth Element, or Superman Returns. Star Wars, Trek, etc. This freed me up to really focus on pieces that I considered "important".

The reason I tell this story is because this watch squarely falls into the category of my "Immature" collecting days. Knight Rider is CERTAINLY not a property that I am attached to, even though I loved it as a kid.

So at this point, you may be wondering why the heck I even got the thing.

And THAT, dear readers, is what I want to talk about. What REALLY excites me about this piece is the precision of the execution, the attention to detail, and the journey that the builder went through to bring this piece to the collector market.

To be clear, the execution is just flawless. From what I understand, the builder researched what was used to build the original, and acquired one. Then he built up a 3d model of it, and had it mass produced. Same for the band. Along the way, improvements and refinements were made, though accuracy was always the key concern. If you've read my blog before, you know how passionate I am about details, construction, and perfection. These are the parts of the hobby that I find really interesting, along with research and dedication to a project. So when I saw how tenaciously this builder had stuck with the project, and had achieved such phenomenal results, I just HAD to have it.

So while it's a little kitchie (did I even spell that right??), and definitely embarassingly 80's, it has two things going for it that make it a compelling piece for me: it is BEAUTIFULLY executed, AND it's something that I wanted when I was a kid.


I have since gotten permission from the maker of this watch to post some information and pictures that were generated by him. Check it out:


Great time, research, and expense went into this project to create a replica Comlink that any fan would be proud to own today. Work on this project spanned nearly five years!

Since the original company no longer existed, original, mint, un-used AM Radio Watches had to be located so that all details could be duplicated. Several watches were obtained from private collections at great expense. After an exhaustive and lengthy search, a manufacturer was found that was willing to tackle this monumental project.

Being fans ourselves, we knew every detail had to be duplicated so that the Comlink watch would appear exactly as it looked on the show. To go a step further, it was decided to make it even nicer than the original props without changing the look.


The prop watches used on the show had a printed label placed over the real lens of the watch to give it a more technological/futuristic look. After examining screencaps of the prop Comlink, it was determined that while it looked OK for 80s TV, that method was sloppy by today’s standards. So, the face art, which was duplicated exactly and cleaned up was screen printed underneath the lens, just as all sport/LCD watch faces are done today. This gives the face a more professional and realistic look. Also, with the artwork underneath the lens, it can’t be scratched or peeled off.


Since the design of the watch band on the Comlink was very specific to the original watch, and can be seen very clearly in screencaps, a stock, off the shelf watch band could not be used. So, the manufacturer made measurements, and did CAD designs of the original band to create molds to duplicate the black, rubberized, plastic watch band exactly.


Even though the original watches used to make the Comlinks were AM Radio Watches, that feature was never used on the show. So, to eliminate an expense in production, it was decided to delete the AM Radio portion of the watch. However, the case/body of the watch was
duplicated using exact measurements and CAD designs to replicate perfectly all appearances of it still looking like the original Radio Watch. Even down to the tuning dial on the front and the hole for the headphone jack on the left side. (This headphone jack is non-functional.)


A big improvement made over the original watch was to the back panel. Removing the back panel allows access to the inside of the watch for changing the battery. The back panel on the original watch was made of fragile plastic. The major problem with the back panel being made of plastic was the screw holes at the four corners of the panel. When replacing the panel, it was very easy to over tighten the screws
and break off the corners of the back panel. So, to bring this watch into the 21st century, the decision was made to create the back panel from stainless steel. This gives the panel added strength and durability so that the screw holes will hold up. An added bonus was that the stainless steel could be engraved with the KNIGHT INDUSTRIES logo, model number, and battery replacement number.


Features of this watch, besides being made to look exactly like the prop Comlink, are the exact time digit display of the original watch. This means the digits in the time display line up just like the ones seen on the show. As an added bonus, by pressing the top, right button, you can display the current month and day.


This Comlink project was created by fans, for fans. Making sure that all details were replicated to exacting standards. While many would want this beautiful watch as a KNIGHT RIDER collectible, it is made to be durable enough to wear everyday. Even though fans of KNIGHT RIDER will recognize it as the Comlink, everyone else will think it’s just an average sport watch. The highly functional look of this watch still holds up into the 21st century.

Don't let this highly sought after collectible get away!


Anonymous said...

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please can you get in touch with us

MattMunson said...

email sent!