Everything in our world these days is digital. Televisions, radios, books, cameras, graphics, and even education has turned to the digital world. And watches, of course, are digital. But people still use analog watches and clocks, and skip on the digital options, claiming they’re better.
Analog watches are great, but here’s our reasons for recommending digital watches for the average consumer.
When Did Wristwatches Come Along?
Watches date back to the 1500s when portable clocks began shrinking in size, thanks to a watchmaker from Nuremberg, Germany, named Peter Heinlen. Henlein’s Nuremberg egg was a much smaller clock, with miniaturized torsion pendulum and coil spring that powered the portable clocks of the day.
These early watches were worn around the neck as a pendant, or around the arm and called an arm watch.
As the technology of portable clocks and watches advanced, and watches became smaller, more options came about. The first wristwatch, for example, was created in 1810, by Abraham-Louis Breguet, for Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples. Other wristwatches soon followed, and were worn almost exclusively by women until the 1880s.
The first mass produced wristwatches were made for the German military, when it became clear that pulling a watch from the pocket was time consuming and impractical.
What is an Analog Watch?
An analog watch is the traditional watch with a dial that uses hour, minute, and second hands to indicate the time. The term “analog” came about when digital watches became available, since all watches prior to this time had the same types of dials, and were, therefore, simply called watches.
The term analog refers only to the type of display of a watch or clock, and not the movements –mechanisms by which a watch works – or the power source.
What is a Digital Watch?
Contrary to some thoughts, a digital watch is not exclusively a battery operated, electronic watch. “Digital” simply means that the time on a watch dial is displayed in numerical form, or as digits, such as in 8:30, rather than indicated by hour, minute, and second hands.
The first digital mechanical pocket watch appeared in the 19th Century. A few decades later, in the 1920s, the first digital mechanical wristwatch came into existence. It wasn’t until another 50 years later than the first electronic digital watch made the scene, presented by the Hamilton Watch Company. This watch was known as the Pulsar, and was an LED prototype. Pulsar is now a watch division at Seiko Watch Corporation of America.
John Bergey, the head of Hamilton’s Pulsar division at the time, said that the new watch was inspired by the then-futuristic digital clock that Hamilton had custom created for the science fiction movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Two years after this prototype was released, an 18-carat gold Pulsar was ready for consumers, and released to the marketplace. At the time, that red-light omitting digital watch sold for $2,100. Today, that would be the equivalent to $12,600 approximately.
Since the 1970s, digital watches have come a long way. In the 1970s, it was very expensive to produce a digital LED watch. In 1975, however, Texas Instruments started marketing a cheap, plastic LED digital watch for only $20. This made the new watch types affordable for normal consumers, and eventually put Pulsar in the red, which is why they sold to Seiko in $1976.
Why is a Digital Watch Better than an Analog Watch?
Digital watches in recent years have moved almost entirely to automatic and electronic watches. This means that digital watches are more precise than analog mechanical watches.
Most of the contemporary digital watches run a perpetual calendar, as well, meaning that you can tell the time and date by a quick glance at your wrist.
Most digital watches offer alarms, timers, and stop watches, referred to as chronographs. These functions are generally highly accurate, and easy to use.
Most digital watches have lighted faces, which means you can read them in dim lighting or after dark. Many digital watches will also run you a lot less than a traditional analog watch.
Why Do Some People Still Use Analog Watches?
There are a number of people who argue that an analog watch is better than a digital. Some consider analog watches more elegant than digital watches. They’re said to have a higher heirloom quality, and many consider them works of art to be worn.
Most collectors will probably say that they only use analog, mechanical movements watches. These fine watches are worth the investment, but are not necessarily as practical for people on a tighter budget.
Practical and Easy: Digital Watches
If you think a digital watch is a better investment for you than a less practical analog watch, but you’d still like something a bit classier looking, you can look into options like the gold Casio watch models in the Casio Vintage collection or the higher end G-Shock collection.