A Giant Leap: Casio Brings Back the Casiotron

A Giant Leap: Casio Brings Back the Casiotron

The Japanese brand celebrates its 50th anniversary with a limited edition that pays tribute to the world’s first digital watch with an automatic calendar function.

By Rhonda Riche

For those of you who haven’t looked at a calendar in a while, 2024 is a leap year. Which is why we’re thinking about calendar watches a lot this month.

And we’re not alone because Casio is going forward with a throwback digital time-teller: the limited edition Casiotron 50th Anniversary TRN50-2A.

Paying homage to 1974’s Casiotron QW02, the TRN50-2A is also celebrating 50 years of Casio’s unwavering commitment to originality and innovation.

Fun Fact: Besides being the world’s first digital watch with an automatic calendar function, the Casiotron QW02 was also Casio’s first wristwatch ever.

Tell the Children

The early 1970s was an era of rapid technological change. At the time, Casio was a leader in the calculator business, but when the company saw the world switching from mechanical to quartz watches, it decided to get in on the timepiece game too.

“When Casio introduced the Casiotron in 1974, it marked a pivotal moment in the history of timekeeping,” explained Tom Kato, Chairman of Casio America. “The Casiotron was not only the world’s first digital watch to feature an automatic calendar, but it also represented a ground-breaking shift in the industry, introducing digital technology into the realm of personal timekeeping.”

“The release of the Casiotron set a new standard in watchmaking,” added Kato. “[It paved] the way for innovations that have since become ubiquitous.”

Casio was not the first to manufacture and market digital watches, but what made the company stand out was it was able to implement its LSI (large-scale integration) technology, which Casio had developed for calculators, in watches. That is how, in addition to displaying hours, minutes, and seconds, the QW02 could have a calendar that automatically adjusted for longer and shorter months.

And Casio continued to innovate, as later models could even correctly display February 29 during leap years. Then, in 1976, Casio released the X-1 watch, which featured a stopwatch and world time functions. And let’s not forget digital legends such as the A700, F-91W, Databank calculator watches, and, of course, the G-SHOCK.

The 1970s also marked a distinct time for design, and the new Casiotron TRN50-2A stays true to the original’s angular hooded-lug silhouette. Most appealing, though, is the TRN50-2A’s the radially polished upper case surface, fluted chapter ring, and its striated dial surface.

Wonder Years

Lest we take these achievements for granted, the 2024 commemorative edition seeks to recapture the wonder of the 1970s, when digital watches were new, cool, and expensive.

The Casiotron TRN50-2A aims to bring the excitement of the original Casiotron design into the 21st century by meticulously reproducing its size and design, all while incorporating today’s cutting-edge technologies to ensure precision timekeeping.

“The TRN50-2A is not just a commemoration of Casio’s historical breakthrough with the Casiotron; it’s a fusion of heritage and technological advancement,” said Kato. “In reimagining the Casiotron for the modern era, we’ve integrated contemporary features like smartphone connectivity, radio wave reception, and solar power, furthering our commitment to innovation.”

The Casiotron TRN50-2A

That brings us back to the leap year because the 2024 Casiotron’s in-house Module 3542 light-powered quartz movement provides a fully automatic perpetual calendar (which won’t need adjustment until 2100).

This modern edition also has Mobile Link functionality, which enables seamless smartphone pairing via Bluetooth and the CASIO Watches app. This function allows for precise timekeeping and automatic updating of world time zone information, alarms, countdown timers, and more.

Like the original, the new TRN50-2A has a screw-lock caseback. However, you needn’t worry about opening it up to change batteries thanks to its Tough Solar panel, which will power the watch and full-display Super Illuminator LED backlight indefinitely.

The center of the caseback uses glass to allow for radio wave reception of the built-in antenna. The triangular symbol featured on the original case back has been redesigned to commemorate the 50th anniversary and is accompanied by an engraved serial number to highlight the rarity of this special limited edition.

Finally, additional features include 50-meter water resistance, a full auto super-illuminator LED backlight, five daily alarms, World Time (39-City + UTC), and more.

Pricing & Availability

The Casiotron TRN50-2A is limited to a run of 4,000 pieces and will be sold for $500 starting on February 29th. For more information, visit Casio’s website.

(Images © Casio)

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