History of the clocks

This article gives information about the history of the digital clocks developed and produced by DGT since 1992.

2017: The DGT1005 Byo-yomi Timer

An affordable timer for Shogi and Go was developed and released in 2017 that has Japanese Byo-yomi timing options.







2016: The DGT1002 Bonus Timer

To meet requests from chess trainers, chess clubs and players worldwide DGT added a Fischer Bonus option to the DGT1001 and turned it into the DGT1002. The intuitive simplicity and ease of use was maintained. The DGT1002 Bonus Timer was released in November 2016.




2015: The DGT1001

After the release in 2014 of the world's most advanced chess clock the DGT3000, DGT set out to design and develop a simple but quality game timer that would be very easy and intuitive to use. The DGT1001 was released in October 2015 and is DGT's most affordable game timer suitable for any two-player game.




2014: The DGT3000

After serious development DGT released this highly advanced chess clock in 2014. It was first used at the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishwanathan Anand in Sochi Russia. With an even larger display and many new and improved options it was made to suit users wishes. It connects to all DGT e-Boards and can communicate with the PC. The DGT3000 is in full accordance with all FIDE laws and regulations.


DGT Easy Black Beyond

2013: The DGT Easy

The range of DGT Easy clocks was redesigned and the improved version with larger display, larger buttons, improved lever and extra timing option was released in 2013.




DGT Pyramid



2011: The DGT Pyramid

The DGT Pyramid is a simpler version of the DGT Cube with only four clocks, one on each side, for a maximum of four players.

DGT Cube


2010: The DGT Cube

A great new concept introducing a game timer that can be used with all boardgames, cardgames or other games. The Cube has six clocks, one on each side, for a maximum of six players. Each clock can be set with an individual time for each player. Timing options include gametimer and movetimer settings as well as movecounter and up-count.



2008: The DGT960 Foldable Pocket TimerDGT960

This game timer was developed as a handy foldable pocketsize chess clock with a Chess960 randomizer to automatically generate Chess960 starting positions. Chess960 was introduced by Bobby Fisher. In 2009 the Presidential Board of the International Chess Federation FIDE accepted the rules for Chess960 (or Fischer Random Chess) as the only other variation of chess and included it as an appendix to the Laws of Chess. In 2013 DGT changed the colors of this clock from white/orange to black/red. 







2007: The DGT2010

The DGT2010 was introduced in 2007 and received the status of "Official FIDE Chess Clock" in June 2008 after four top-level arbiters conducted tests and concluded that the clock is in full accordance with all FIDE rules and regulations. The DGT2010 is the successor of the DGT2000. An improved version of the DGT2010 was released in October 2010. To distinguish it from the previous model the new model has blue buttons.



DGT Easy2005: The DGT Easy and Easy Plus

The DGT Easy and the DGT Easy Plus were introduced in 2005. The Easy Plus has the added options of delaying the countdown or adding extra time with each move. The DGT Easy is a digital chess clock for everyone and for every game. The DGT Easy is ideally suited for chess clubs, schools and home use.

In 2007 the DGT Easy clocks were redesigned in new and sparkling colours and in 2013 the clocks were redeveloped with a larger display, larger buttons and additional timing options.



DGT XL2003: The DGT XL

The DGT XL, was introduced during the Dutch Team Playoffs in 2003. It is the accumulation of ten years of experience in the chess market. The clock has an extra large display, an option to display messages (great for internet chess), more timing methods including an upcount method for use with Scrabble®, simplified operation, and a buzzer and it can connect to the DGT electronic chess boards.






2001: The DGT DigiBlitz

Especially for personal use, DGT Projects developed the DigiBlitz. With larger displays, an optional buzzer, count down and count up timing methods, this model offered much for a low price. It is no longer manufactured and was replaced by the DGT Easy Game Timers.

DGT 2000

1998: The DGT2000

The DGT2000 introduced several minor improvements over the DGT FIDE model, including clearer and more robust displays.

As proven top-quality product, it is still used in many tournaments all over the world. The DGT2000 was the bestselling digital chess clock ever until it was replaced by the DGT2010.


DGT Topmatch

1996: The DGT Topmatch Clock

The DGT TopMatch Clock is similar to the famous DGT FIDE chess clock, with an added serial interface that allows it to connect to the DGT electronic chessboard. This model was replaced by the DGT XL.



DGT Plus

1994: The DGT Plus Clock

The DGT Plus was developed in 1994 in special cooperation with the European Go Federation (EGF), for use at the European Go championships in Maastricht. The DGT Plus can make a sound at the approach of a time limit - a short buzz at 10, 5, 4, 3 or 2 seconds before 0.00, and a long buzz during the last second.

Why did the EGF ask for this feature? Standard Go tournament timing method byo-yomi had always required an arbiter with a stopwatch to stand by the board near the end of the game and announce the game's last seconds. This allowed the players to keep concentrating on the board, rather than watching the clock. The DGT Plus made this verbal announcement and need for a third person unnecessary.

The DGT Plus buzzer option is also useful in chess. Since the introduction of the Fischer and FIDE timing methods, players can approach the time limit many times during a game. The buzzer helps players make their moves in time without requiring them to look at the clock and take their concentration away from the board. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) acknowledged the value of this feature and the FIDE Laws of Chess, enacted by the General Assembly in 1996, state that an audible signal is allowed at the approach of the time limit. The DGT Plus was later replaced by the DGT XL.

1994: The DGT Fide Clock

The DGT FIDE clock was created in cooperation with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in full conformation with the FIDE Laws of Chess. Since it was introduced in 1994, many DGT FIDE chess clocks have been sold around the world. 

Attempts to introduce an electronic chess clock had been made since the 1970's but the DGT FIDE clock was the first digital clock to be widely accepted in the chess community. The DGT clock was successful where others failed because it was developed from a chess player's point of view. One example of this is the large lever on top. It's not only easy to hit in blitz or time-scramble situations, but it clearly shows which player's turn it is to move from as far as 20 meters away. This model was replaced in 1998 by the DGT2000.

The first DGT

1985: The first DGT

The first DGT clock was built in the mid-'80s by Ben Bulsink, at that time a student at the Technical University Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. The clock was reviewed by the magazine of the Dutch Chess Federation, who called it "the perfect chess clock". There was one problem however: the clock was handmade and much too expensive to produce. Only around 60 of these clocks were ever made and Bulsink returned to work at the University.

Some five years later chess trainer and organizer Albert Vasse read that the yearly Melody Amber chess tournament in Monaco wanted to start using Fischer timing at their tournament. Vasse contacted Bulsink and together they approached tournament sponsor Joop van Oosterom and offered to build the clocks. They got the order and went on to develop and produce the first affordable digital chess clocks. In 1993 the International Chess Federation FIDE at their General Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil, awarded a three year contract to DGT Projects to produce "the Official FIDE Chess Clock". The rest, as they say, is history.

Featured Products

  • DGT Echo: the chess clock that speaks!

    DGT proudly presents DGT Echo, a speaking chess clock for blind and visually impaired players. It is available from September 2020.

  • New! DGT Centaur Travel Bag

    To take the DGT Centaur wherever you go, we made a special tailored travel bag.

  • Limited Edition Leather Bluetooth e-Board

    DGT celebrated its 25th anniversary with a very special version of the wireless e-Board. Only 50 boards were made!

  • DGT1006 Backgammon Timer

    The new DGT1006 Backgammon Timer has a special feature: the delay option!

  • DGT3000 Limited Edition

    A special DGT3000 Limited Edition is released to celebrate DGT 25th year anniversary.

  • DGT1005 - Byo-yomi timer

    New high quality timer with Japanese Byo-yomi timing options especially designed for the ancient games of Shogi and Go.

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