Powercoin continues its numismatic look back at retro technology with an homage to the first generation of the digital watch

It was in the early 1970s that watches took their first tentative steps into the digital world, when the Hamilton Pulsar, complete with a red LED screen, debuted to much fanfare. Celebrities queued up to get one, and even James Bond wore one in Live and Let Die. Costing the equivalent of two months median average salary in 1972, it became a signature gadget for the well-heeled.

It wasn’t long before the concept spread to other manufacturers. Indeed, the Japanese company, Seiko, had already tinkered with LCD displays for a watch, and in 1973 released the first six-digit watch on the market. Just a few years later, dozens of manufacturers were producing them for as little as $10. Casio popularised them even further, impressing many with its calculator watch, still collectable to this day.

Powercoin’s ‘Techstalgic’ series of silver coins looks to showcase early tech, mostly stuff we look back on now with bemusement given the staggering progress it’s made. The first issue was shaped like a floppy disc, and this time, it is, of course, a digital calculator watch. The reverse face is a terrific reproduction of the general concept without stepping on any company toes, and we particularly like the way the coin composition is displayed on the watches ‘LCD’ in that same font style.

The obverse is really quite clever. Despite knowing the coin is fundamentally flat, I’d swear it had a proper strap on it at first glance. Clearly a lot of effort has gone into getting the look just right, and they’ve succeeded admirably. The issue details are engraved onto the ‘watch’ back. The coin comes boxed with a COA. We haven’t seen images of that yet, but Powercoin rarely disappoints in that regard. A unique take on a subject that rarely puts in an appearance in the coin world, and a well realised one at that, even if it did make me feel old…

$2 NZD (Niue) 62.2 g of 0.999 silver 40.0 x 63.0 mm Proof 499