Compass Watch
Compass Watch

G Shock Atomic Solar Watch: Breaking Boundaries

The G Shock Atomic Solar Watch is very capable timepiece that continues to sell well even in our world of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and smartphones. Originally released in the 1980s, they provided an electronic means of data storage that was greatly appreciated in an age before PDAs and smartphones made possible the informational over-glut of our times. The G Shock Atomic Solar Watch and Timex Compass Watch soon became much more than just watches, with one model doing double-duty as a replacement universal control for cable boxes, television sets, and videocassette players! Various other versions kept track of time across different time zones or gave days of the week in up to thirteen different languages – all pretty neat feats for the early ’80s.

But this G Shock, much like the Timex Compass Watch, sells well to this very day, with even a retro-chick model to commemorate their nearly three decades of service that’s been made to look just like an original, with the wild fluorescent colors popular at the time and a simple little black and white Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen. They are still very clever devices today, but back then they were incredibly innovative, offering almost comic book-like capabilities. And small wonder, considering their pedigree: the company had long been a pioneer in consumer electronics, with a long history of technological firsts to its credit. Starting with the world’s first-ever compact all-electric calculator in 1957, the company has gone on since then to introduce the world’s first graphing calculator, the world’s first 1.3 megapixel digital camera, and the world’s first digital camera with an LCD screen. Not bad for a company that started as a humble maker of cigarette lighter rings! (Yes, rings – as in, worn on the finger: this is Japan after all, a land of gizmos and gadgets galore.)

Thus it is that these timepieces were the durable and powerful wonders of their time. The company’s first wristwatch, produced back in 1974, debuted to great success at a time when watchmakers were just beginning to incorporate digital technologies into their designs. They also helped to influence popular perceptions of the wristwatch, which had been thought to be fashion accessories more than practical tools – and only for timekeeping purposes if tools at all. They also helped change the conventional wisdom on Japanese goods, in particular electronic products, which were widely viewed as cheap low-quality throwaway items. History proves that they will continue to break boundaries and be successful at it.

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