They Just Love Me for My 80085

Once again, my awesome Casio calculator watch — with Indiglo, sucka! — is more revered on the internets than I could ever hope to be. The latest propers were served up today in this guest post by my sister (of the wonderful food blog What’s She Eating Now?) on [emphasis added]:

From bad to good
Simultaneously irate and deeply disappointed, I was explaining over IM to my sister what happened. I feared there was nothing that could make it better except the passage of time.

“Meet me on Mott Street between Grand and Hester in twenty minutes,” my sister typed. “I’ll be in front of a jewelry store on the east side of the street.” Before I could ask any questions, the screen turned gray. What could be at this jewelry store in the heart of China Town that would restore my mood?

Sure enough, as I ambled south on Mott, I saw my sister standing in front of a seemingly ordinary jewelry store. Trustingly I followed her inside. And then I saw it. A sign conveying a menu hovering above a counter in the very back. This jewelry store also sold Banh Mi. My frown started to turn upside down.

Discretely taken photo inside of Banh Mi Saigon Bakery. Yes, that is a retro Casio calculator watch on my sister’s arm. Discretely taken photo inside of Banh Mi Saigon Bakery. Yes, that is a retro Casio calculator watch on my sister’s arm.

And before that, I had Sascha Segan over at Gearlog to thank for a digital shout out on my chrono-numeric hotness.

Wednesday June 24, 2009


For geeks of a certain age, a Casio calculator watch brings back strong and fond memories of long afternoons spent in the school basement, playing Dungeons and Dragons. But I hadn’t seen one in real life for years before tonight, when Popular Science writer Amanda Schupak popped up at a press event sporting this elegant model, which she said she picked up on the street for a cool $18.
It turns out that calculator watches never actually went away. Casio shows 15 “databank” watches on their Web site, including several that include infrared remote controls to control TVs and DVD players. If you lose your remotes a lot, that actually sounds like a good idea, provided you’re willing to look like a person who wears a calculator watch.
In an era when many people are giving up their watches for cell phones – or are trying to hack together cell phone watches – it’s interesting to see a brave few buck the trend and go for watches which compute, but don’t call.

Nothing like being the coolest nerd at a tech show.
I adore this watch. I use the calculator with frequency, and have for years. It came in handy when I had to work out a year over year growth in stock price in the office of my old editor at Forbes magazine. And this is an upgrade from the old one I had, which didn’t have a light; now I can tell time at night, too. I’ll admit, however, that I haven’t quite mastered the steps to saving telephone and fax numbers. Fortunately, no one has telephones and faxes anymore.
Unsurprisingly, I get a lot of comments on it, from friends, from strangers. (Normally I detest talking to strangers, but for this I’ll indulge them… briefly.) People are always immediately taken back to the good ol’ days of Ataris, and often recall the Casio watch they used to have, or the one they used to covet back in grade school. Folks often want to try it on, too, which I’ll allow in rare cases, but there’s always a hint of pity in their voices when they give it back, something that says, “God, this is funny, but I’d never wear it (loser).” On the occasion that I run into someone on the street sporting a model, we never fail to lock eyes and exchange a knowing nod. It’s like the camaraderie between guys who ride Harleys, but without the muscles, leather jackets and self-assurance.
In the end, I wear the watch because it’s a cheap, reliable, and infinitely useful timepiece. Plus, I never fail to giggle when someone asks me for the time and I look down to find that I’ve left 58008 on the face. Yup, ’round me, it’s always Boobs O’Clock.

4 responses to “They Just Love Me for My 80085

  1. Ugh. Boob’s O’Clock showed up with a line underneath it and I was frantically clicking it assuming it was a hyperlink. You have lead me astray.

  2. Terry, please try back at half past boobs.

  3. Just wanted to share this instant message from a friend in Colombia. NB, his job involves conducting interviews with convicts in Colombian prisons.

    >i wanted to tell you
    >that a couple of weeks ago
    >in prison
    >i met a guy who had the same watch as you

  4. Pingback: Annals of Uncool: Where Do You Fit in? « No Happy Medium

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