Thanks to the rise of Fitbits, Apple Watches and other smart trackers, wearables are the new frontier of fashion, often mixing cutting-edge technology with the latest designer trends. However, they aren’t a new idea: companies like Casio have been doing the same since the 1980s.
Cast your mind back and try to remember the digital Casio watches of yesteryear. Chances are you’ll land on the Casio C-80, the original “calculator watch.” Billed as “the watch that replaces everything,” the C-80 — with its tiny rubber buttons — shunned the stylus prized by watch makers like Citizen and Seiko at the time. It also made way for newer Data Bank models that could convert currencies, store phone numbers and, like today’s Apple Watch, read your pulse.
In 1980, you’d pay $75 for the C-80, which is about £185 in today’s money. Fast forward to today and the vintage timepiece can fetch upwards of £400, if it’s been kept in mint condition. Casio has released a ton of other calculator watches since the C-80, but they’ve become a bit boring. Julia Hardy meets up with Jonah Ripley to see if we can make the retro smartwatch a little more 21st century.