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A digital watch is a watch that displays the time by means of numbers or symbols. This is in contrast to an analog watch, which indicates the time by means of hands.
The main advantage of a digital watch compared to an analogue watch is that a digital watch, in addition to the time display, can often display many more functions. Think of day, date and year, but also location and 24-hour notation. The display of a digital watch is also easy to read and is multi-applicable when the watch also contains a chronograph (stopwatch) and/or other timers and alarms.
The first digital (pocket) watches date from the 1920s. The mechanical movement contained different types of gears and cylinders with numbers painted on them that clicked into the picture at the right time. You just had to wind these watches, just like any other watch from that time.
The very first electronic digital watch came onto the market in 1972 (50 years later!) - the Hamilton Pulsar P1, a derivative of which was shown in the James Bond film 'Live and let die'. The at that time still expensive watches quickly gained in popularity. When the Asian watch manufacturers started to make these in large numbers and the timepieces quickly improved, the price plummeted and a digital watch became available to everyone.
Note: formally speaking (touchscreen) smartwatches are of course not digital watches, but they often do have a digital time display. That is why we have included our touchscreen smartwatches on this page.
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