Sir Clive Sinclair is a British born entrepreneur and inventor who launched his first mass market consumer product in 1962. Known to be an expert at miniaturization, Clive has brought to mass market over 100 highly innovative consumer products through various successful large companies such as Sinclair Radionics and Sinclair Research. Some product examples include the world's first pocket television of 1966, the world's first pocket calculator of 1972 and the UKs best selling personal computer of all time in 1982. More recently Clive and his team have developed several exciting new products such as the Sea-Doo Water Scooter dive propulsion vehicle (pictured right).

Click to see an archive selection of timeless classics from the last 50 years.

About us - Sinclair TV

Sea-doo® Seascooter™2001


The smallest mass market transistor radio in the world was originally conceived and sold by Clive Sinclair in 1958 (when he was still at school).

The miniature design was smaller than a matchbox and sold serious volume of various models (including kit versions) between 1963 and 1971. Pricing was around 4.99 including earpiece accessory.

The product body construction used a standard off-the-shelf plastic box together with photo etched and polished aluminium front panel.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair Micromatic

Micromatic radio (actual size) 1963


The world's first pocket television set featured a two inch screen and was launched at the Radio and Television Show at Olympia, London in 1966. Pricing was around 49.95.

The cathode-ray tube was designed by Twentieth Century Electronics and focused using magnetic deflection.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair Microvision TV

Microvision TV 1966


The smallest high fidelity integrated stereo amplifier of its period combined a high quality preamp and poweramp in one small, unique design.

The product featured in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 cult classic film 'A Clockwork Orange'.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair Neoteric Stereo Amplifier

Neoteric Stereo Amplifier 1968


System 2000 speaker

High fidelity integrated stereo amplifier and loudspeaker system (tuner also available) made using satin anodised aluminium extrusion.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair System 2000 High Fidelity Set

System 2000 Hifi set1968


The world's first slimline pocket calculator used LED (Light Emitting Diode) display technology and small hearing aid batteries.

The low power consumption needed to employ button cells with their low capcity was attained by pulsing the electronics - not recommended by the integrated circuit manufacturers, but it worked.

The keypad used a very thin plastic membrane moulding to keep the thickness down. The actual keys were the tiny buttons in the centre of each pad area.

The product was priced at 79.95 and is included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Science Museum of London.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair Executive Calculator

Executive calculator 1972


The world's first mass market digital watch used LED (Light Emitting Diode) display technology and small hearing aid batteries combined with special circuitry.

The watch was available pre-assembled at 24.95 or in kit form at 17.95.

Industrial design by John Pemberton

Sinclair Black Digital Watch

Black watch1975


The Cambridge Scientific was a highly advanced calculator with an extremely small form factor for its time. The device weighed less than 99 gramms and measured only 50x111x28mm.

Scientific notation was displayed using 5 digit mantissa and 2 digit exponent. Because of the way its processor (a custom chip from Texas Instruments) was programmed, it relied on reverse Polish notation. This unusual method of mathematical problem solving meant that, for instance, to add 2 and 4, one had to enter 2, then 4, then the + symbol (no = key required).

A major factor of the Sinclair Cambridge calculator range success was its low entry level price point of only 43.95 (later reduced to 32.95 fully assembled or 27.45 as a kit).

Industrial design by John Pemberton

Sinclair Black Digital Watch

Cambridge Scientific Pocket Calculator1975


Mass produced version of the MicroVision pocket television (world's first pocket tv set of 1966) used the smallest CRT (Cathode Ray Tube - 2") ever made. It functioned on VHF and UHF bands and was the first ever multi-band television, meaning that it could be used in nearly every foreign country worldwide. The machine weighed only 737 grams and was powered by four internal rechargeable AA batteries or from a mains adapter.

Pricing was around $400.

Industrial design by John Pemberton

Sinclair BTV1A Pocket Television

TV1A Pocket Television1976


The Sovereign was a high-end calculator introduced in 1976, it was one of the last Sinclair calculators. The display could view 8 digits using red LED (Light Emitting Diode) display technology, and included four functions for percentage, memory, square root and square.

The Sovereign was unusual because the casing was made from pressed steel. This allowed a variety of paint and plating options, including black painted, bright chrome plated, silver plated, and gold plated. A small number of solid gold versions were made. In 1976, the chrome plated version cost 30 and the gold plated version cost twice as much.

A limited edition silver plated version, inscribed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 was also produced. The Sovereign was small and slim measuring only 36x141x12mm (power was provided by two 2.5 volt button cells).

Industrial design by John Pemberton

Sinclair Sovereign

Sovereign1976


The Sinclair ZX80 is a home computer brought to market in 1980 and is notable for being the first computer available in the UK for less than a hundred pounds (99.95). It was available in kit form, where purchasers had to assemble and solder it together, and as a ready-built version at a slightly higher cost. The machine was designed around a Z80 CPU (Central Processing Unit) and had 1K or RAM which was expandable to 16K with an optional external RAM pack. It measured just 218x170x50mm and weighed 340 grams.

The whole ZX80 development project was completed from start to finish in less than nine months.

Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Sinclair ZX80

ZX80 personal computer1980


The world's first mass market personal computer to sell under $99 was a successor to the popular Sinclair ZX80 of 1980. The ZX81 sold over 1.5 million units within two years of production and kick started a whole generation of hobbyist programmers.

The machine featured only four computer chips: the microprocessor, the ULA, the 8192-byte ROM, and a 1024-byte RAM chip (the lowest chip count rival machine of the time was the Tandy TRS-80, which featured approximately ten times as many chips).

Manufactured and sold under license by Timex in more than 70,000 stores in US alone.

Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Sinclair ZX81

ZX81 personal computer1981


The UKs best selling personal computer of all time sold many millions of units (for a period of time it shipped more units than any other computer model in the world). It featured 8-bit colour graphics,
8-bit sound, option of 16k or 48k of memory and a low cost rubber membrane keyboard. The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA. Its introduction led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen today (the software library alone includes more than 20,000 titles). Many credit the ZX Spectrum as the machine which launched the UK IT industry. It was also considered to be the leader of the console wars in Europe throughout the 1980s which was a period of intense competition for market share between video game console and personal computer manufacturers. Pricing started at 125. Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Sinclair ZX-Spectrum

ZX Spectrum personal computer 1982


The world's first flat screen pocket television set was priced at 79.95 and used a 2" flat CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) with a side mounted electron gun instead of a conventional CRT. The screen was manufactured by Timex and the image was made to appear larger than it was by the use of a Fresnel lens. The unit weighed 269 grams and power was provided by a specially made six volt Polaroid flat battery or mains power adapter.

Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Flat screen television

Flat screen television1984


The world's first personal computer to use the Motorola 68008 processor and first mass market computer to use pre-emptive multitasking (pre-dating this feature in Microsoft Windows by 11 years). The 128K machine was the first Sinclair computer to have a full size qwerty keyboard and also included two tiny built-in Microdrive tape cartridge drives (developed by Sinclair with tapes measuring 44x34x8mm) in place of more expensive floppy disk drives. The QL had its own Windows style operating system (even though it was launched a month before the Apple Macintosh) and was also bundled with a software office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, database, and graphics) written by Psion. Linus Torvalds (creator of the popular Linux operating system kernel), owned a Sinclair QL in his youth and used it to learn programming. The product was manufactured by Samsung and entry level pricing was 399.

Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Sinclair QL

QL (Quantum Leap)1984


The worlds first mass produced electric vehicle was launched in the UK on 10 January 1985. The vehicle is a battery assisted tricycle steered by a handlebar beneath the driver's knees (chassis development was by Lotus cars in UK). Powered operation was possible making it unnecessary for the driver to pedal. Its top speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), was the fastest allowed in the UK without a driving licence.

It sold for 399 plus 29 for delivery and was mass produced by Hoover in UK. Although it only sold around 17,000 units in total, it currently remains the best selling electric vehicle of all time.

Industrial design by Gus Desbarats

Sinclair C5

C5 electric vehicle1985


The Z88 was an A4 size, lightweight, first generation laptop computer that weighed only 0.9 kg and was priced at 199. It was based on a low power CMOS version of the popular Zilog Z80 microprocessor and came with 32 KB of internal pseudo static RAM and 128 KB of ROM containing the operating system (called OZ). The memory could be expanded up to 3.5 MB of RAM. The machine was equipped with a built-in EPROM programmer with card capacities range from 32 KB to 1 MB. It was powered by four AA batteries (giving up to 20 hours of use) and used a membrane keyboard, which was almost silent in use. The machine was seen by some as the forerunner of the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and its built-in software included a combined word processing/spreadsheet/database application called PipeDream.

Industrial design by Rick Dickinson

Sinclair Z88

Z88 laptop computer1987


Sinclair Satellite Receiver Remote

The World's first Astra Satellite receiver was launched together with a highly innovative dish, named the 'Squish', which featured an internal horn antenna. The receiver was later sold as a separate unit and later became the best selling satellite receiver in UK.

Industrial design by Iain Sinclair

Sinclair Satellite Receiver

Satellite Receiver 1987


The UK's first digital mobile phone was the smallest and lightest cell phone available (weighing only 143 grams).

It predated GSM mobile phones by several years and worked using a British subscription based and location specific (Telepoint) telephone service whereby the user has to be within 100 meters of a Phonepoint transmitter to make outgoing calls (the points were the predecessor to public wi-fi and located at many destinations throughout the UK).

Additionally the phone's optional base station could be connected to a home landline and then it could be used as a cordless phone.

Sinclair Forum digital phone

Forum digital phone 1989


An ultralight electric bicycle (weighing less than 11kg) with an electric motor hidden inside the frame. It has a top speed of 15kph (about 10mph) and recharged itself when ridden down slopes. Launched in 1992, it was only available through mail order and cost £499.99.

Sinclair Zike

Zike electric bike1992


Sea-doo® Seascooter™ was a revolutionary personal underwater propeller vehicle designed for scuba divers, snorkelers, and water enthusiasts.

The device could propels users at speeds of up to two miles per hour and was rated for depths of sixty five feet.

Other features included a built-in buoyancy regulator and finger activated soft-start trigger. A quick-release latch offered easy access to rechargeable battery.

 
About us - Sinclair TV

Sea-doo® Seascooter™ 2001