Timex Sinclair

Last updated
Timex Sinclair
Type Joint venture
Industry Home Computer
FoundedDecember 12, 1982 (1982-12-12)
DefunctJanuary 10, 1984 (1984-01-10)
Owners Sinclair Research, Timex Corporation

Timex Sinclair was a joint venture established in December 1982 [1] [2] between the British company Sinclair Research and Timex Corporation in an effort to gain an entry into the rapidly growing early-1980s home computer market in North America. [3]



The choice of partnership was natural, as Timex was already the main contractor for manufacture of Sinclair's ZX81 and ZX Spectrum computers at its Scottish plant in Dundee. [3]

Due to large demand another manufacturer was needed, so Timex Portugal (TMX Portugal Lda, a Portuguese Timex subsidiary [4] ), with skilled and relatively cheap labor force, [4] took on the production of models to be exported to the U.S.. [5] Although both the Scottish Timex branch and Timex Portugal were full subsidiaries of Timex, internal rivalry meant there was little sharing between the two plants.[ citation needed ]

Timex Portugal sold the Timex Sinclair (ex: T/S 2068) models in Portugal and Poland under the Timex Computer (ex: TC 2068) [6] brand. In order to market Timex Sinclair products in the United States, Timex Corporation created a subsidiary named "Timex Computer Corporation", and sold machines under the brand Timex Sinclair. [7] [1]

Timex Sinclair ended as Timex Corporation withdrew from the U.S. home computer market in January 1984 [1] [2] but Timex Portugal continued to manufacture, sell and develop hardware in Portugal and Poland [8] for another ten years, with some machines also being sold in Canada and Argentina (see Czerweny computers). [4] [5] A 1986 report mentions that 800.000 systems, between TC 2048, TC 2068 and FDD3000, were sold to Poland. [8]

Overall, Timex Sinclair machines were nowhere near as successful as their UK progenitors; in contrast with the ZX Spectrum, which was the best-selling computer in Britain at the time, the T/S 2068 was a relative failure, partly due to Timex Corporation leaving the computer business shortly after its introduction. [9]


The T/S 1000 was introduced in July 1982, [2] with Timex Sinclair touting it as the first home computer to cost under $100 in the U.S. market. [10] In spite of the flaws in the early versions, 550,000 units were sold by the end of the year. [11]

In 1983, about 100,000 units were sold in Canada, and 400,000 in the US, with the price dropping to $49.95. [11] A new computer was announced in May. Named T/S 2000, it was based on the ZX Spectrum, [12] and would come in with 16 or 48K RAM versions, costing $150 or $200. The 16K version was cancelled, and the 48K version was released as T/S 2068. [13]

Two new computers were introduced that same year, the T/S 1500 and T/S 2068. [14] Both were more expensive ($79 [15] and $199 respectively) and with low sales. [11]

Released computers

Timex Sinclair released four computers, all of them based (to some extent) on Sinclair Research's existing machines. In chronological order:

Hardware projects


Timex Computer Corporation, under the Timex Sinclair brand, and Timex Portugal, under the Timex Computer brand, produced a number of different peripherals for the Timex computer line:

Timex Sinclair

Timex Computer

Neptun 156 monitor. It came in matching black or grey colours. 061104 (50).jpg
Neptun 156 monitor. It came in matching black or grey colours.


Timex Sinclair

Timex Computer Corporation, under the Timex Sinclair brand, released 9 business, 20 home management, 30 education and 25 game titles on cassette for the T/S 1000 and T/S 1500. [72] [73] Four titles on cartridges were also released. [72]

For the T/S 2068, 4 business, 13 home management, 29 education and 24 game titles were released on cassette. [74] Seven titles were released on cartridges. [74]

Timex Computer

Timex Portugal sold/developed the following software, under the Timex Computer brand: [75]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum</span> 1982 series of home computers

The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit home computer that was developed by Sinclair Research. It was released in the United Kingdom on 23 April 1982, and became Britain's best-selling microcomputer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX81</span> Inexpensive home computer by Sinclair Research, 1981

The ZX81 is a home computer that was produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Dundee, Scotland, by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair's ZX80 and designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public. It was hugely successful; more than 1.5 million units were sold. In the United States it was initially sold as the ZX-81 under licence by Timex. Timex later produced its own versions of the ZX81: the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorized ZX81 clones were produced in several countries.

Sinclair BASIC is a dialect of the programming language BASIC used in the 8-bit home computers from Sinclair Research and Timex Sinclair. The Sinclair BASIC interpreter was made by Nine Tiles Networks Ltd.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex Sinclair 1000</span> Home computer launched in 1982

The Timex Sinclair 1000 was the first computer produced by Timex Sinclair, a joint venture between Timex Corporation and Sinclair Research. It was launched in July 1982, with a US sales price of US$99.95, making it the cheapest home computer at the time; it was advertised as "the first computer under $100". The computer was aimed at regular home users. As purchased, the T/S 1000 was fully assembled and ready to be plugged into home televisions, which served as a video monitor. The T/S 1000 was a slightly modified version of the Sinclair ZX81 with an NTSC RF modulator, for use with North American TVs, instead of PAL for European TVs. The T/S 1000 doubled the onboard RAM from 1 KB to 2 KB; further expandable by 16 KB through the cartridge port. The T/S 1000's casing had slightly more internal shielding but remained the same as Sinclair's, including the membrane keyboard. Just like the ZX81, the T/S 1000 had black-and-white graphics and no sound.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex Sinclair 2068</span> Home computer released in 1983

The Timex Sinclair 2068, released in November 1983, was Timex Sinclair's third and last home computer for the United States market. It was also marketed in Canada, Argentina, Portugal and Poland, as Timex Computer 2068.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chiclet keyboard</span> Type of keyboard using flat keys separated by bezels

A chiclet keyboard or island-style keyboard is a computer keyboard with keys that form an array of small, flat rectangular or lozenge-shaped rubber or plastic keys that look like erasers or "Chiclets", a brand of chewing gum manufactured in the shape of small squares with rounded corners. It is an evolution of the membrane keyboard, using the same principle of a single rubber sheet with individual electrical switches underneath each key, but with the addition of an additional upper layer which provides superior tactile feedback through a buckling mechanism.

Sinclair Research Ltd is a former British consumer electronics company founded by Clive Sinclair in Cambridge. It was originally incorporated in 1973 as Westminster Mail Order Ltd, renamed Sinclair Instrument Ltd, then Science of Cambridge Ltd, then Sinclair Computers Ltd, and finally Sinclair Research Ltd. It remained dormant until 1976, when it was activated with the intention of continuing Sinclair's commercial work from his earlier company Sinclair Radionics, and adopted the name Sinclair Research in 1981.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum graphic modes</span> Graphic modes of the ZX Spectrum computer

The original ZX Spectrum computer outputs video through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary 1980s television sets, for a simple colour graphic display.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex Computer 2048</span> 1984 computer developed by Timex Portugal

The Timex Computer 2048 or TC 2048 is a 1984 computer developed by Timex Portugal, at the time part of Timex Sinclair. It was based on the Timex Sinclair 2048 prototype, with a similar redesign case, composite video output, Kempston joystick interface, and additional video modes, while being highly compatible with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex FDD3000</span> Disk drive peripheral for Timex Sinclair machines and CP/M computer.

The Timex FDD 3000 in 1982 was a nearly complete computer by Timex of Portugal. It began its development at Timex Computer Corporation in the U.S., but it was at Timex of Portugal that the work was finished.

Timex 2048 may refer to either of the following two ZX Spectrum-variant computers:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lambda 8300</span> Sinclair ZX81 clone from Lambda Electronics Limited of Hong Kong

The Lambda 8300 was a Sinclair ZX81 clone from Lambda Electronics Limited of Hong Kong. It had a modified ROM and extra hardware, making it not fully compatible. Total compatibility could be achieved by installing a ZX81 ROM.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Komputer 2086</span>

The Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 was a Polish version of the home computer Timex Sinclair 2068, produced by a joint venture of the Polish state-owned Unimor and foreign company Polbrit International. Introduced in 1986, the computer had a cost of roughly 190000 zł.

The Timex Sinclair 2050 (TS2050) was a computer modem built by Westridge Communications for Timex Sinclair, a joint venture between Sinclair Research and Timex Corporation.

VU-3D is a 3D modelling software package for the ZX Spectrum home computer. It was published by Psion Software Ltd in 1982.

The TC 3256 or Timex Computer 3256 was a 1987 computer created by Timex of Portugal, a branch of Timex Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum Next</span> Remake of a popular microcomputer

ZX Spectrum Next is an 8-bit home computer, initially released in 2017, which is compatible with software and hardware for the 1982 ZX Spectrum. It also has enhanced capabilities. It is intended to appeal to retrocomputing enthusiasts and to "encourage a new generation of bedroom coders", according to project member Jim Bagley.

Tadeo Czerweny S.A. is an Argentinian manufacturer of transformers and other high-power electrical equipment founded by Tadeo Czerweny in 1958.


  1. 1 2 3 "TIMEX COMPUTER CORPORATION :: Texas (US) :: OpenCorporates". opencorporates.com.
  2. 1 2 3 "Timex Abandons Line of Low-Cost Home Computers". Toledo Blade 23. February 23, 1984. p. 32.
  3. 1 2 AMERICAN EXPRESS BOOSTS SALES OF THE ZX81 (PDF). Sinclair Research Limited. 1982.
  4. 1 2 3 Luckman, Paul (February 7, 2022). "Timex Portugal, Clive Sinclair and Maggie Thatcher". The Portugal News.
  5. 1 2 J.C.M. (April 6, 2017). "Quando na Caparica se faziam computadores para todo o mundo". Correio da Manhã.
  6. 1 2 "TIMEX COMPUTERS TC-2048". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum.
  7. "Timex Computer Corporation – Timex/Sinclair Computers". Timex/Sinclair The Authoritative Website for Timex/Sinclair Computers.
  8. 1 2 3 "Poland". World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on 2019-12-30. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  9. "Timex Portugal, Clive Sinclair and Maggie Thatcher". www.theportugalnews.com. Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  10. 1 2 "Timex Corp. Introduces New Computer". Ocala Star-Banner. April 22, 1982. pp. 5C.
  11. 1 2 3 "Timex clocks out of home-computer business". The Financial Post. March 3, 1984. p. 34.
  12. Blechman, Fred (1983). "Glimpse of the Series 2000". Timex Sinclair User. Vol. 1, no. 3. pp. 21–25.
  13. "Timex/Sinclair 2000 – Timex/Sinclair Computers". Timex/Sinclair - The Authoritative Website for Timex/Sinclair Computers.
  14. 1 2 Mace, Scott (November 14, 1983). "Q&A: Dan Ross". InfoWorld. Vol. 5, no. 46. p. 109.
  15. Mace, Scott (June 20, 1983). "TRS-80 MC-10 'battles' T/S 2000". InfoWorld. Vol. 5, no. 25. p. 1.
  16. Mitchell, Peter W. (1983-09-06). "A summer-CES report". Boston Phoenix. p. 4. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  17. "worldofspectrum.org - timex - poland". Archived from the original on 2019-12-30. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  18. Timex Sinclair 2068 PERSONAL COLOR COMPUTER USER MANUAL. Timex Computer Corporation. 1983.
  19. Advertisement (December 1983). "Now from Timex...a powerful new computer". BYTE. p. 281. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  20. "TC-2048 Timex Computers". www.old-computers.com.
  21. "Timex Computer 2048". Timex Computer World. 2001.
  22. "Timex Computer 3256 - Portugal".
  23. "15110 – Bem-vindo ao Museu [EN] – New – LOAD Guia" . Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  24. 1 2 "Timex FDD - Portugal". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  25. 1 2 "Timex Floppy Disk Drive Set". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  26. 1 2 "Timex Floppy Disk Drive Systems". Archived from the original on 2020-01-18. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  27. 1 2 "Timex FDD 3000 -- 8bit Projects For Everyone". 8bit.yarek.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  28. 1 2 "Timex FDD3000". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  29. 1 2 "Timex FDD 3 -- 8bit Projects For Everyone". 8bit.yarek.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  30. 1 2 "Timex FDD 3000 -- 8bit Projects For Everyone". 8bit.yarek.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  31. 1 2 "Timex FDD3000". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  32. 1 2 "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/Timex FDD 3000 Floppy Disk/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  33. 1 2 "Timex Terminal 3000 - Portugal". www.timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  34. "TS 1016 RAM pack". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  35. "TS1050 Carrying Case". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  36. "TS 1510 Command Cartridge Player". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  37. "TS 2020 Cassette Recorder". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  38. "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/TS2020 Tape Recorder/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  39. "TS 2040 Printer". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  40. 1 2 "Review: The Timex Sinclair 2040 Printer". www.atarimagazines.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  41. "Timex Sinclair 2040, Timex USA". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  42. "TS 2050 Modem". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  43. "The Timex Sinclair 2060 Bus Expansion Unit". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  44. "TS 2060 Bus Expansion Unit". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  45. "The Timex Sinclair 2060 Bus Expansion Unit". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  46. "TS 2065 Microdrive". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  47. "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/TS2065 Microdrives/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  48. "TS 2080 80 Column Printer". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  49. "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/TS2080 Printer/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  50. "TS 2090 Commandstick". www.timexsinclair.com. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  51. "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/TS2090 Command Stick/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  52. "Timex Sinclair 1040 - Multi-Power Supply". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  53. "Timex Computer 2010". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  54. "Timex Computer 2080". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  55. "Timex Computer 2080 - Portugal". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  56. "Timex Interface RS232 manual". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  57. "Directory: /Vintage/Sinclair/82/Timex Peripherals/Timex Interface RS232 (Timex Computer, Portugal)/". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  58. "Joystick-Sound Unit". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  59. Unipolbrit is a portmanteau word of Uni, from Unimor company and Polbrit company (which itself is pol, from Poland and brit from British). The number 86 in 2086 is from the last two digits of the year of the production start.
  60. "Unipolbrit Komputer 2086". k1.spdns.de. Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  61. "Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 -- 8bit Projects For Everyone". 8bit.yarek.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  62. "Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 - MCbx". archive.sundby.com. Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  63. Świątek (cybernetyka), Roman (1988). Programowanie mikrokomputera Unipolbrit 2086 w języku BASIC (in Polish). Biuro Wydawnicze ZZDZ.
  64. "Unipolbrit 2086". Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  65. "Poland". Archived from the original on 2019-12-30. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  66. "Unimor "Neptun M-156 B" (monitor) | UNITRA-Klub". unitraklub.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  67. "Neptun 156 156B - Pictures - MCbx". oldcomputer.info. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  68. oldcrap.org (2018-07-31). "Neptun M156B Monitor". Old Crap Vintage Computing. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  69. "Elwro 500 -- 8bit Projects For Everyone". 8bit.yarek.pl. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  70. "Neptun 156 156B - Pictures - MCbx". oldcomputer.info. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  71. "Timex Sinclair 2040 - Portugal". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  72. 1 2 "Archived copy". worldofspectrum.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  73. Timex Price List May 1983 (PDF). Timex Computer Corporation. 1983.
  74. 1 2 "Archived copy". worldofspectrum.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  75. "Archived copy". worldofspectrum.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  76. "Timex Operating System". timex.comboios.info. Retrieved 2022-11-28.