The best retro-cool and versatile calculator watches
From simple math, elaborate cheating schemes, and/or feeling like a bit character in a John Hughes film.
Whether appreciated ironically or earnestly, the calculator watch holds a special place in our collective culture. It was the first step from old-fashioned timepieces toward our eventual smartwatch future, and it’s been a way for movies and TV shows to indicate “nerds” in easy shorthand.
There has been a recent nostalgia-fueled resurgence in calculator watch popularity, with the iconic Casio still dominating the landscape. Here are some of the best options from that brand, as well as a couple of other contenders.
The granddaddy of calculator watches still beats all newcomers. The Casio DBC150-1AES is capable of handling whatever you throw at it, and the blue-tone face rounds out its all-around retro feel. It has a calendar function that allows you to keep track of important dates and appointments, as well as a massive 150-page data bank.
While not technically a “calculator watch,” the TVG entry does offer something unique that the more standard Casio models do not. In addition to stopwatch and calendar functions, it can actually connect to your television and act as a universal remote. Wrapped up in a just-the-right-side-of cheesy retro gold frame and band, it’s a conversation starter and a binge-watchers best friend all in one.
Yes, Casio again. We weren’t kidding when we said they dominated the market. In addition to its calculator function, the “Databank” keeps time that is remarkably accurate, with a claimed variation of only around 15 seconds per month. Combined with the calendar alert function, you have no excuses for being late to anything anymore.
You have to admire a device that wears its ignoble intentions on its sleeve (and, well, on yours too). This watch is like a mini-ebook reader and audio device—allowing you to import textbooks, class notes, and even lecture recordings. This watch boasts 8 GB of storage all the while looking like a nice, innocent retro-cool calculator watch.