“I'm the operator | With my pocket calculator | I'm the operator | With my pocket calculator | I am adding | And subtracting | I’m controlling | And composing…” Lyrics from ‘Pocket Calculator’, a hit from 1981 by electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, who captured the zeitgeist at a time when electronic goods were getting smaller as well as the advent of personal, portable computing devises. Pubescents with the future in our hands, we felt in charge of our individual destinies. Though the recent financial crisis put an end to that thought, here we are again revisiting the 80s.
However, the first pocket calculator was released almost a decade earlier by Casio in 1972. The Casio Mini didn’t require desk space as it was smaller, elegant and more functional than anything before – great for adding and subtracting on the go.
Chairman and CE of Casio Computer, Kazuo Kashio died in June this year at aged 89. Highly regarded as a marketing genius, he leaves behind a mega family tech firm founded with his two elder brothers in the early 50s, and best known for the billions of pocket calculators they’ve sold, the first preview screens on digital cameras, the first ink-jet printer, Marty McFly's cool calculator watch and of course the G-Shock.
Rocking a vintage 80s aesthetic, the shiny gold G-Shock Full Metal 5000 is a brand new, all-metal timepiece, which pays homage to the very first black steel G-Shock DW5000C released in 1983. Its shock-resistant design was revolutionary back then and this robust tool, along with the many others in the collection are just as relevant and desirable now in our highly active lifestyles.
Somewhat like impact protection on a car, the ‘floating’ quartz mechanism has 10 layers surrounding it including rubber bumpers, stainless steel case and toughened crystal. Codenamed the GMWB5000TFG-9 with very retro-sounding features, the watch has a super illuminator LED backlighting, a solar battery that is capable of self-charging and a monochrome STN (super-twisted nematic display) LCD. Placing it firmly in 2018 though is the two-way time sync to smartphones via Bluetooth and the G-Shock app. Their Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping technology also means up-to-the-nano-second accuracy anywhere in the world. Other features include five world times (300 cities via the app), 1/100 sec stopwatch, five daily alarms and 20-bar water resistance.
Available through G-Shock boutiques, it retails for $600 (around R8,300). A polished stainless steel version (GMW-B5000D-1) was launched at BaselWorld earlier this year and is available at $500 (R6,900).