Every year, new digital watch brands come along and hope to earn a place on your wrist. In a bid to be noticed, some are weird and wacky, some are quite cool, and others totally play to your nostalgia, but in all honesty, these brands find it tough to compete against companies who have been there long before them. If your brand isn’t called Seiko, Casio, or Apple, then, as the South Park meme goes, “You’re gonna have a bad time.”
Seiko, in some ways, got the digital watch ball rolling back in 1973 when it manufactured the first LCD quartz-powered watch that the world had ever seen. Named the 06LC, the digital watch was a hit straight out of the gate and if you happen to have an original on your hands, then you’re likely sitting on a gold mine, or of course, you could try selling it here and see what you could get for it. By today’s standards, the 06LC is a bit sparse in terms of cool functions (unless you count an alarm and stopwatch as cool), but if your idea of a watch is to tell the time, then Seiko’s 06LC is simply awesome and the retro look it has now is highly sought-after.
The next company to make the biggest splash in the digital watch ocean was undoubtedly Casio. If you’re a 90s kid, then chances are your first watch was the now hugely popular F-91W. In some ways not hugely different to the Seiko 06LC, the Casio was just slightly more robust, had a neater design, and the price was certainly lower. Even today, the F-91W always finds its way onto the wrists of Millennials who love that vintage chic – the same ones who have resuscitated FILA and Starter from the 90s. Whilst cheap and cheerful might seem a bit harsh to describe the F-91W, it is a digital watch you can rely on to look cool and keep the time with minimal fuss.
Finally, there’s a digital watch that is much younger than both the Seiko 06LC and Casio F-91W, but the brand making it has been in existence since the 1970s, and that’s the Apple Watch. Kick-starting the wave of smartwatches, the Apple Watch is currently in its third iteration, with each new model packed with more features and improved design and battery life.
You already know it’s going to look good because it’s designed by Apple, but for every Apple lover, there’s a hater. Many dislike the company’s ethos of repeatedly bringing out so many new models for all its devices every year and think that there’s simply no need to have games, music, and fitness tracking on a watch. But hey, you can’t deny how much Apple has revolutionized just what’s possible in a wristwatch.
Good luck to anyone trying to topple those kings.