40 years on since their initial creation, digital watches finally seem to be getting the recognition they deserve.
Underrated for many years, as more and more watch collectors turned to more traditional high-end watches, digital watches are once again growing in popularity.
This presents us with a wonderful opportunity to get on trend by buying a vintage digital watch. A vintage digital watch has timeless appeal.
Not only do they look great and accompany most styles perfectly, but they’re also super practical.
If you’re looking for a vintage watch or a more modern digital watch that offers vintage vibes, you’ve come to the right place!
In today’s post, you’ll find a list of 10 of the best vintage digital watches currently on the market.
Whether you’re looking for something similar to Hamilton’s first-ever digital watch or something brand spanking new, we’ve got you covered!
History Of The Digital Watch
A digital watch shows the time as a number, instead of having a shorthand and long hand pointing to two different numbers.
The first mechanical digital wristwatches appeared in the late 19th century but it was in the 1920s that the first digital mechanical watch was created.
However, it was only when the Hamilton Watch Company produced the first electronic digital watch in 1970 that the digital watch craze began.
Working with Electro-Data, the first digital watch Hamilton produced was the Pulsar LED prototype.
The company was inspired to make the watch after making a futuristic timepiece for a science fiction film in 1968.
Digital watches were very expensive at the time and out of reach to many people. However, things changed in 1975 when watch companies started to mass-produce LED watches.
Interestingly, these mass-produced watches saw Hamilton lose a lot of money.
From the 1980s onwards, technology vastly improved, making it possible for more and more brands to make high-quality, yet affordable digital watches.
Vintage Watches That Will Complete Your Look
Now you know more about the digital watch, we can start looking at the vintage watches that will complete your look.
Whilst more modern digital watches are more affordable and come with more features, it’s vintage and retro digital watches that still pique people’s interest most.
To show you the best vintage digital watches you can currently buy, we’ve split our list up into categories. These categories are based on the watch brand, so you can pick your favorite brand easily.
Casio is one of the biggest watch brands in the world. The brand is also arguably the best manufacturer of digital watches. Casio’s digital watches are famous all over the world.
Offering a wide range of high-quality watches, you can expect durability, style, high-performance levels, and lots of neat features from a Casio watch.
Some of the features Casio digital watches come with include calculators, stopwatches, backlights, and even electronic musical instruments.
We’ve listed our top picks below!
We’ll kickstart our list with a stunning unisex vintage watch from Casio. The Casio A168WA-1 is a fine example of a retro watch.
It’s also a great example that shows you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to find an attractive vintage watch.
This neat digital watch has a solid silver-coated case and a sleek, clean stainless steel bracelet. The octagonal case has shrouded lugs that help nicely unify the bracelet.
Aside from its stylish, streamlined design, this watch also offers excellent functionality. It is equipped with an alarm, calendar, stopwatch, and a backlight feature.
You could probably pull this watch off with a pair of jeans and a blazer.
Having said that, we could see it going nicely with most styles.
If you’re a businessman or woman that came here looking for a vintage digital watch that completes your professional look, look no further than the Casio Calculator Watch.
In our opinion, things don’t get more vintage than this classic watch.
Attractive, unique, and highly functional, this Casio watch is easily one of the best. It has an LCD dial encased in a mixture of plastic and resin and comes with a wide range of features.
Of course, the main feature has to be the watch’s unique calculator.
This simple calculator offers full functionality. Other features include a date function, time, and an alarm.
Next up, we have the Casio Women’s LA11WB-1 Sports Digital Watch. This watch is a great choice for women that want a lightweight, stylish watch that offers great functionality and style.
Featuring a classic Casio black resin design, this is a simple, yet effective digital watch that goes well with most outfits. Constructed without any unnecessary frills or buttons, the watch is designed to offer a more minimal look.
Some of the features the watch comes with include a stopwatch, timer, daily alarm, and calendar. It is perfect for everyday use. This watch is solar-powered too.
Casio also has a vintage digital watch that offers the best of both worlds. Showing that digital watches can be classy, this Casio watch features a more classic analog design.
This gives the watch a more attractive appearance.
To ensure the watch offers digital functionality too, this watch is also fitted with a digital window. Offering classic 1960s vibes, the digital window does a number of things.
You can cycle through digital time, dates, time zones, alarms, and stopwatch features.
Made from stainless steel, the case and strap of this watch is gold in color. This helps make the watch an elegant going-out watch.
The penultimate watch on our list is another solid vintage watch from Casio. This time, we have the Casio A100WEGG-1AEF.
This is a popular watch that has been slightly modernized from the original 1977 F-100 Casio watch.
Sporty, trendy, and fashionable, this retro watch is made more vintage with the old-style front-facing buttons, neutral color tone, and distinctly retro design.
Even the way the numbers are displayed on the digital screen is vintage.
When it comes to features, this stainless steel watch, which also has a fold-over clasp, has an LED light, alarm, and stopwatch. The black detailing and small text only enhance the appearance of the watch further.
Nixon watches tend to be both functional and stylish. For obvious reasons, that makes them a good choice when it comes to completing any look.
Whilst the brand is better known for producing classic watches, it does also have some great digital watches too.
One of the brand’s best digital watches makes our list because it offers everything we need and look for in a vintage digital watch.
If you prefer something more upmarket, take a look at the Nixon Re-Run. Available in four different styles, this retro vintage digital watch is an attention grabber.
Personally, our favorite style is the red digital display version. This version has a more classic antique style that looks great.
This digital watch comes with a stainless steel case and bracelet.
Despite being a Re-Run model of a digital watch, it still does well to offer vintage vibes. Nothing about this watch makes it seem modern. Features built into the watch include dual time, calendar, alarm, timer, and backlighting.
Hamilton created the first ever electronic digital watch in 1970, so of course one of the brand’s digital watches was going to make our list.
One of the best things about Hamilton’s digital watches is that they stick to a timeless, vintage style. At first glance, there’s not much difference between the brand’s latest watches and the first-ever digital watch.
If you’re keen to take things all the way back to the beginning of the digital watch trend, you should look at the American Classic PSR Digital Quartz watch from Hamilton.
Hamilton has reissued its 1970s classic Pulsar watch. As you would expect, it offers all the same perks and styles the original digital watch did. However, it has also been updated slightly to eliminate some of the issues with the watch.
Don’t worry though, none of the changes affect the overall retro style of the watch. With the original watch, you had to press a button to see the time.
With the later model, you no longer have to do this. The watch is legible whether you press the button or not.
Bulova watches aren’t the most sought-after digital watches the market has to offer but they are an affordable option that won’t break the back.
For a budget-friendly watch, Bulova does a great job at ensuring durability, high-level performance, and stylish design.
Bulova’s digital watches are also extremely accurate.
The next vintage digital watch on this list is the Bulova Computron. There are a few different variations of this watch but all of them are extraordinary.
Oozing class and elegance, this is a watch you would wear to impress.
The first edition of the watch was released in 1976. Since then, the watch has been re-released. The latest reissue was in 2019. No matter which version you buy, you can expect a watch that maintains vintage style and flair.
The version we’ve linked has a yellow-gold-tone trapezoid-shaped case that features a small red LED display. Features include day and date options as well as dual time zone capabilities.
Timex is another incredibly popular watch brand. This brand is best known for producing stylish watches that look great and perform even better. With Timex, you invest in a brand that’s deep-rooted in brand history.
The brand focuses its efforts heavily on manufacturing products that last, whilst also offering luxury and style.
Up next, we have the Timex Men’s Classic Gold Digital watch. This timeless piece is available in three different colors, but the gold-tone style is definitely the most attractive.
This is a great choice if you’re getting dressed up to go out.
If you prefer a more subtle style, go with the silver style instead. This retro Timex digital watch looks awesome and feels great to wear. More affordable than other vintage watches, it has an 80s and 90s appearance and a durable resin strap.
Like most digital watches from this era, one of the main features is the Indiglo backlight technology. Using this glow-in-the-dark technology will transport you back 40 years.
Compared to the other watch brands on this list, Vigoroso is a relatively unknown watch brand. As a result, most people find themselves surprised when they realize what the brand has to offer.
Vigoroso makes unbelievably high-quality watches that don’t break the bank. Almost all of the brand’s digital watches feature powerful designs, useful features, and a variety of styles.
The final watch on this list comes from Vigoroso. It is a great option for women looking for an elegant watch that will complete their look.
The watch is available in three different colors, but the rose gold-tone offers the most vintage feeling.
The other colors this watch can be bought in are gold and silver. The rose gold-tone and sleek stainless steel design gives this watch a more classic, antique look.
Water resistant, some of the features included with this watch include date and time, stopwatch, back light, and a 24hr dial. Despite the watches’ elegant design and functionality, it is surprisingly affordable.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Was The Digital Watch Invented?
The first digital watch was invented in 1972. The first watch ever released was the Pulsar Time Computer. It was produced by famous watchmakers, the Hamilton Watch Company.
Which Digital Watch Brand Is The Best?
There are a wide variety of watch brands that are generally considered the best when it comes to making the best digital watches. However, Casio are widely regarded as the best by many.
Do People Still Wear Digital Watches?
Whilst a lot of people now turn to newer smart watches, there is still a big demand for digital watches. In fact, vintage digital watches have seen an increase in popularity recently.
In this post, we’ve shown you 10 of the best vintage watches. The watches on our list will help you complete your look.
Whether you’re heading to the office, going for a casual walk around town, competing in sports, or heading out for a luxury dinner, there’s a watch on our list you’ll love.
All you have to do now is narrow the list down and decide which vintage watch suits your style.
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