Since the advent of electronic watches that incorporate small computers, digital displays have also been available. A digital display shows the time, simply as a number, for example, 12:08 instead of a short hand, facing the number 12 and a hand long 8 / 60 of the turn of the dial. The digital watch is the new way of telling time in 500 years.
The first digital watch, a LED press prototype in 1970, was developed jointly by Hamilton Watch Company and Electro-Data. John Bergey, the Chief of the division of Hamilton press, said he was inspired to make a digital clock in the then-futuristic digital clock that Hamilton was made for the film’s 1968 science fiction 2001: Space Odyssey. On April 4, 1972, the press was ready, made in 18-karat gold and sold for $2,100. It had a red light diode (LED) display.
Digital clocks were very expensive and out of reach for the common consumer until 1975, when Texas Instruments started to mass produce LED watches inside a plastic box. These clocks, which, for the first time, were sold to the retail for only $20, 10 dolares discounts in 1976, saw Pulsar lose $6 million and the Pulsar brand sold to Seiko.
Most of the watches with LED displays requires the user to press a button to see the time that appears for a few seconds, the led no longer is could keep operating without interruption.
Normally, the color of the LED screen was red. Watches with LED displays were popular during those years, but soon the screens LED were replaced by liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, which use less battery power and were much more convenient in use, the display always visible and without having to push a button before seeing the time. The first LCD with six two-digit LCD clock was in 1973 Seiko 06 LC, despite various forms of early LCD watches with a four digit display they traded already in 1972.
From the Decade of 1980, digital technology improved greatly. In 1982, Seiko produced a watch with a small TV screen built-in, and Casio digital clock with a thermometer, as well as another that could translate 1,500 Japanese words in English. In 1985, scientific calculator was the Casio CFX-400 watch.
Despite these many advances, almost all watches with digital displays are used as timekeeping watches. For collectors of expensive watches rarely have digital displays, since there is little demand for them.