This unique Sony Pacemaker TR-610 was manufactured in New Zealand under license by Collier & Beale Ltd circa 1959. It was a shock to find this rebranded TR-610 locally and all the more remarkable given Akio Morita’s reluctance to sell his Sony radios as rebranded Bulova’s in 1950’s America! Ref: Made in Japan  by Akio Morita (Joint founder of Sony)

New Zealand and Japan are the only countries that I know of where the TR-610 was manufactured.







Collier & Beale was formed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1926. In 1939 they introduced the first of a line of radios branded as ‘Pacemaker’. In 1954 the General Electric Co of England (GEC) acquired a majority shareholding in the company.

In 1957 Collier & Beale were the first New Zealand Company to design and manufacture a portable transistor radio. Known as the Pacemaker Transportable it used 8 RCA transistors and it was claimed to be the only set in the world at that time to use an RF stage. 

During the next couple of years Collier & Beale formed a relationship with the Sony Corporation that enabled them to manufacture certain models in New Zealand under license. These radios were branded as ‘Sony Pacemaker’ and production continued until 1966.

By 1973 Collier & Beale had ceased to exist as they were taken over by GEC (NZ) Ltd.

REF: The Golden Age of Radio in the Home by John W Stokes.








The obvious highlight of this TR-610 is the metal escutcheon branded with ‘Sony Pacemaker’. It has to be a fairly rare set. In 1958 Sony won a Good Design Award for the TR-610.  

The tuning and volume dials are both on the right side of the red cabinet making it easy to operate with one's thumb. The designers created a neat layout emphasizing the speaker grill on the front. The radio has a kick stand on the back which doubles as a travel handle. The demand for this model was the decisive breakthrough for the Sony name overseas. Between 1958 and 1960 the popular TR-610 went on to become the first transistor radio to sell more than a half-million units worldwide.







Check out the gold sticker with the New Zealand references.