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Wristwatch Review: Casio Classic Calculator and Calendar Watch


Long, long ago, when digital watches were new to our planet, the calculator watch was a stunning technical achievement. Now, it’s a fondly nostalgic timepiece for retro nerds. Of course, when I walked into my apartment wearing the Casio Classic Calculator and Calendar Watch, I soon found out that not everyone is nostalgic about it.

“Is that your geek watch?”
“Yeah, it’s my nerd watch.”
Did you wear that to work?”

That quick conversation with my wife let me know that I wasn’t getting any cool points for wearing a calculator on my wrist. My week of wearing the Casio Classic Calculator and Calendar Watch wasn’t off to a great start. It’s a digital watch that prepares wearers for an adventure in math. It’s not a glamorous vision.

The watch itself (model CA53W-1) is functional and provides time, date, stopwatch and calculator functions. The display gives you the time and day of the week at a glance. A push of an exposed button on the right side of the watch activates the calculator. A second push shows you the time for the alarm. A third push displays a second timezone time and a fourth button push gets you to the 1/100 of a second stopwatch. A smaller recessed button is pressed when you want to set the time or alarms. The stop watch is started and stopped via buttons on the calculator.

The Casio Calculator watch is water resistant to 30 meters and survived when I got caught in a sudden rainstorm. However, with all the buttons on this watch, I’d prefer to keep it dry. The calculator works and is convenient to have on hand (or wrist). You can expect 5 years of battery life with this watch. The Casio Calculator watch itself works well, but has a few drawbacks. First, the numerals and markings on the calculator keypad are small. I need to use a a magnifier or reading glasses to see the numerals and functions. Second, this watch does not have the same button navigation pattern of most watches so there is a slight learning curve. Third, I was unable to find any light to illuminate the face of this watch at night.

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While this Casio Classic Calculator and Calendar Watch is perfectly practical, the main reason to own this watch is nostalgia. When the digital watch first arrived on the scene in the 1970s, it was truly a marvel. It evolved from the LED digital watch to the LCD digital watch and then to the calculator watch. When the calculator watch was introduced, it was truly a marvel. However, the features of today’s more expensive digital watches far surpass this humble Casio that sells for $19 at Walmart. You can get watches like the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer that tell you when to go hunting or fishing. Other watches provide compasses, altimeters, and Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality. But, all those wonders started with the calculator watch. For that reason alone, this Casio Calculator Watch is a worthy addition to any watch collection.