DGT's 2500: A New(er) Chess Clock (for Backgammon)

DGT released a new chess clock in 2023 and I decided recently to give it a go. I currently have a ZMF-II for backgammon and one of the blue "North American" DGT clocks we use for chess at home. The ZMF-II is nice but the wrong color for my new board, and I don't particularly like the DGT North American's delay mode (the delay countdown is not rendered on the display and is signaled only by small flashing "delay" text under the remaining time).

Enter the DGT2500. This clock caught my attention with its single large LCD display and centered dedicated delay countdown (my favorite feature; very much like the older Chronos clocks). It is also the right color (red) :slightly_smiling_face:

For Backgammon

For backgammon this clock works perfectly using Option 25 (US Delay: Manual). You can very quickly set the time (for each player individually) in hours:minutes:seconds as well as the delay in seconds. After pressing play/pause, you are in business!

Player turn is changed by pressing a physical switch/paddle that takes up the entire space atop the clock.

The delay is very nicely displayed in-between each player's time bank. Here is the clock running (left player on roll, 11 seconds left of delay; the snowflake signifies (default) freeze mode, which freezes both time banks when the flag drops for either player):

Here is another photo of the clock paused between games (pause symbol with 25 displayed in the center to represent Option 25 (US Delay))

Setting the time is accomplished via arrow buttons and plus/minus. Here is an example setting the delay for each player (to 12 seconds):

Some pros:

  • Very easy to set (even for arbitrarily times for each side individually)
  • Nice center display of delay countdown
  • Large physical switch/paddle (maybe a negative if you like the touch sensors of the ZMF/Chronos)
  • Only way to reset match time is via protected switch underneath the clock (prevents accidental double-tap resets with some other clocks)
  • Uses only two AA batteries (included)
  • Saves last option settings between resets

Some negatives:

  • (minor) If, the paddle is switched while paused, the clock enters arbiter mode when un-paused (making sure there was no error; this is an abnormal scenario for chess) and requires an extra press to un-pause. Not really a deal breaker but something to be aware of. Players should un-pause AND THEN correct the player on roll, resetting the delay if necessary.
  • Somewhat more expensive than other options at around $70

But is the display illuminated and will it fit inside my board when closed?

It is not illuminated. The contrast is really good however along with the viewing angle, but this could be an issue in dimly lit rooms.

The clock is 2.34" (60 mm) tall. It will close inside the Earth Board and my Gammoner Club (smallest) board. It even closes inside of a Galaxy Adventure board.

On the note of putting clocks inside of boards, do you ever have issue/concern of the clock messing up the playing surface as it slides around?

Clock size: 198 x 110 x 60 mm/ 7.8" x 4.32" x 2.34"
Display size: 174 x 32 mm/ 6.85" x 1.24"
Clock weight: 320 gr/ 11.30 oz

1 Like

I put the clock in a Crown Royale bag to protect the surface.

I'm still happy with my ZMF-II but this new clock looks nice.

Nice! I like this idea.

Yes! I like the thought of the clock inside the board but my playing surfaces are all variations of cloth. The clock “feet” leave small, round indentations in the surfaces when stored in the board. So, I have a small camera bag for my clock, scoreboard, extra dice, etc.

I have an leap clock and carry it in the packaging (plus a spare battery in a pouch)

I enjoyed my last clock for exactly one tournament and forgot it there... Supposed to pick it up at some point in time. My main gripes with the DGT clock I had is that setting it up is a chore and one needs to read the manual multiple times to do so. Is it more convenient with this clock? Or does it still have too few buttons for all the features packed into the clock?

Regarding setting, the left/right with up/down buttons make it easy. Easier than the ZMF-II in my opinion. It also keeps settings between power cycles which my previous DGT did not.

It has some chess features like move counts, etc. that require holding buttons on certain menus but setup for backgammon is straightforward.

I had the same issues as you with my DGT mobile chess 960 (that the central button has a mal function wasn't helpful too :)) .
I decided to buy the Leap after I saw on youtube how easy it is to set it. Nevertheless when I haven't changed it for some month I have to look at the "Manual" and parts of it are print on the bottom. My major reason not to buy the ZMF was that it is not comfortable to have a spare battery in the box.

I still have a spare DGT 960 and I do think that it is easier to set up compared to the big DGT (forgot the exact model, but it is big and expensive). I played a couple of times with a ZMF and what I like is that you could easily read the screen in dim lighting, which on the DGT was a bit cumbersome at times.

yes the readability in bad light conditions is a big selling point for the ZMF


I am happy with my ZMF clock. I don't much care for the pause button on the Leap clocks, it feels fiddley, I much prefer just tapping the sensor pad and going. Does the pause/ play button operate like the leap clock?

I am not sure exactly how the Leap clocks work, but for this one you indeed have to use the pause/play button to both pause the clock AND restart it. The paddles are for the most part non-functional when the clock is paused.

Yes, that is the only annoying thing with the leap:
You have to press "pause/play" again to start and if you accidently press a paddle you see "Error". That is the next to the visibility the other pro for the ZMF.
ZMF Cons: weight and you need three medium sized batteries, for Leap having a spare AAA is no issue. Was the deciding factor for me.