Digital watches are relative newcomers in the watch world and have been around for less than half a century. In 1972, wristwatches entered the Digital Age when the Hamilton Pulsar watch was first introduced. Featuring an 18K gold case, red digital dial and leather strap, this revolutionary timepiece cost well over $2,000... a considerable amount at the time.
The high-tech Pulsar digital watch was in high demand when it was introduced in the early 1970’s and even President Gerald Ford was seen wearing one, while he was in office during 1974.
Seiko released its own LCD digital watch in 1973, which featured a stainless steel case and matching bracelet at a considerably lower price point. In 1975, Texas Instruments introduced less expensive digital watches featuring plastic cases and bracelets at a retail cost of less than $40. The latter caused Pulsar to lose millions of dollars in revenue and resulted in Pulsar being purchased by Seiko in 1976.
Digital watch technology become more advanced heading into the 1980s as more brands started to produce LCD digital timepieces, including Bulova, Casio, Citizen and Timex. These timepieces not only told you time, many had stop-watch and chronograph functions too.
Today digital watches are featured in many popular watchmakers’ collections from Nixon, Puma, Suunto and Oxbow to Invicta, Movado, Gucci, Omega, Breitling and TAG Heuer. Many of these digital timepieces are designed for active living and feature everything from built-in alarms and world time zone functions to heart-rate monitors, altimeters and barometric pressure indicators.
More advanced high-tech models are expressly designed for pilots and other professionals, offering chronograph flight time logs and countdowns, homing devices, atomic time and standard world time.