Digital Display11:34 am
A digital display is one that shows information in the form of characters, as opposed to hands pointing to markers on a dial. Digital display watches usually display the time on an LCD screen, though some of them also use LED screens.
Josef Pallweber, an Austrian engineer can be credited with creating the first digital pocket watch in 1883. Instead of the usual dial with hands pointing towards markers, Pallweber’s jump-hour watch had two windows through which one could view the hours and minutes inscribed on rotating discs. The seconds hand remained in the standard format as seen in regular watches. IWC was one of the first manufacturers to feature a digital display in their collections, and the jump-hour became a commercial success, bring fame and fortune to the company. After success in pocket watches, digital or jump hour displays were introduced in wrist watches in the 1920s. Of course, these were mechanical watches that needed to powered by manual winding.
After about fifty years, Hamilton launched the world’s first digital electronic watch, the Pulsar. The chief of Hamilton’s Pulsar division claims that the idea for an electronic digital watch, powered by a battery and driven by a quartz movement, came from the digital clock shown in the 1968 Hollywood film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hamilton Watch Company had designed the watch that was shown in the movie, and two years later the company launched the first Pulsar, which had a futuristic looking dial that was black in colour with digits shown in a bright red colour.
Digital watches were considered to be fancy and highly luxurious, given their high price range at the time. But in 1975, Texas Instruments had an idea to bring down the prices of these watches by introducing them in plastic cases. The company started mass producing the watches and sold them for as low as 20$ a piece. The era of digital display watches had arrived and soon they were quite a rage all over the world.
Digital display watches available today are mostly powered quartz movement, though there are few mechanical watches as well, with jump-hour functionality. Of course, in terms of regular usage, these jump-hour watches are not referred to as digital display watches. The term digital display is restricted to watches which are powered by quartz movements and which display information on an LED (Light Emitting Diode) screen or an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display screen). LCD is preferred over LED as it consumes less battery power and is much more convenient to use.
Today, digital watches are produced by Casio, Seiko, Suunto and a number of other popular watch brands. These watches are equipped with a great deal of features, including hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, alarm, date, day, altimeter and much more. Digital displays have many advantages as the screen can be used to display a lot of information which would be difficult to display on an analog dial. Some of these watches even display multiple time zones and temperature. Nowadays, there are watches which feature both analog and digital displays and are referred to as Anadigi watches. The reasons for this are obvious: digital display watches giving a highly advanced, futuristic look while allowing display of a great deal of a features, thus giving you the best of both worlds.