Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

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  • Friday, March 13th, 2009 - 1:27 pm
  • Casio IA-1000 [727] Flip-Top personal planner databank watch

  • Two articles in 2 days? we're on a roll here!

    Here's another really rare one from the 90's. This particular example is NIB. It has been used once, by me, to take pictures and replace the battery. It's so nice, I am afraid to wear it!

    And the watch is? The Casio IA-1000 flip-top databank. Marketed as the "personal planner," the IA series of watches were nice dressy watches Casio produced for the businessmen/women. This particular one was the only flip-top model, but all IA watches I've seen are pretty fancy looking. As far as I know, all IA series watches used metal cases and were circular in shape. (I know for a fact that the IA-1100 and IA-1200 were circular ana-digi combo watches with metal cases.)

    At a time when most Casio watches were being shipped in plain gray-clear plastic boxes, the IA-1000 shipped in a nice thin flat box. Here's a shot of the outer box with another Casio box for comparison.



    The inner clam shell box is made of plastic, and covered with a velvet-like gray felt. Look at that gold embossed CASIO logo. They were clearly going for fancy with this watch!



    Inside the box, the watch is held down with felt-covered metal prongs and padded with a long strip of gray sponge. Casio even made a specially sized manual for this watch so that it can fit neatly inside the box!



    That blue piece of paper warns users not to get this watch wet. Apparently, it is not waterproof at all!

    My watch is the dual-tone version with the metal band; it was also available in a single gold-tone with leather band.



    The band design is a big departure from Casio's normal lineup, using a click-down clasp more commonly seen on jewelry. Those nice rounded edges on the band make it very comfortable to handle. I would imagine that it is also very comfortable to wear, but I was too scared to wear it because I didn't want to put any scratches on it!



    Now on to the watch itself... At first glance, it looks like a simple analog watch.



    And unlike Casio's other flip-top watches, the IA-1000 is very thin.



    To open it up, you pull up on the small notch on the front of the watch.



    The watch top is held down with two spring-loaded bearings, which makes the mechanism ultra durable and gives it a very satisfying CLICK when you close the top. The bearings also make the watch very secure, it really does a good job of securing the top so that it does not rattle when the top is closed. The main hinges and metal bands are attached with simple spring bars.



    If you look closely at the top of that image, you'll see two tiny metal pegs that stick out above the hinge. These pegs prevent the user from opening the top beyond 120 degrees, to prevent damaging the conductive strip that connects the watch from the keypad.



    When you first open the watch, you are greeted with this. A blank screen. The IA-1000, like all other Casio flip-top watches, have a special power saving mode that blanks out the screen when it's not in use. The power saving mode is simply triggered by time; there are no special sensors. By the way, the analog portion will keep running independent from the digital portion. You adjust the analog time with the crown, and it does not sync with the digital time. However, both the analog and digital portions use a common quartz crystal, so I believe it is possible to sync the analog and digital time if you timed yourself perfectly.

    Press a key, and the watch turns on!



    The digital display is actually quite nice, featuring a very nice mixture of traditional segmented digits and dot-matrix display (a coup on its own!). The display shows the current day/month/date, along with time and seconds--all in a single view. Very nice!

    You can see the black strip connecting the top and bottom portions of the watch. This strip and keypad, along with the battery contacts are all made of one continuous piece of plastic flim.



    As you can see, the keypad is slanted to the right, presumably to favor fingertip entry with the right hand when the watch is worn on the left wrist. It is a thin film with some kind of matte texture, and unfortunately it has no tactile feedback. Fortunately, it requires very little pressure to operate.



    The databank is pretty standard. It stores 50 numbers and 50 schedule items. The name is limited to 8 characters, but the scrolling display makes it visually pleasing.



    (left - before data)

    The keypad was surprisingly easy to use to enter some data for this article. I only mistyped one single character!



    There is also a memo mode where you can type in whatever you'd like.



    The weird thing about the calculator mode was that it only uses the top line. What's up with that?



    The watch also features 5 daily alarms and hourly signal. The alarm and hourly signals have a very funky icon, which I like very much. Tragically, there is no way to tell if the alarm/signals are armed in regular timekeeping mode. :(

    But overall, this is a very capable watch with lots of functions. And the fact that it's all crammed into this very small package is incredible!

    Another thing that makes this neat is that a single CR2012 battery powers both analog and digital portions.



    The battery resides under the back cover here, so it's pretty easy to replace. But at the same time, it feels a bit fragile. Once you open the back cover and remove the battery, the back side of the keypad is completely exposed. In other words, the keypad lies directly above the battery, and there is no barrier between the two except a thin piece of opaque flim.

    Lastly, check out what the original battery looks like.



    It's gold. Isn't that weird? Why would you need your battery to be gold??? I have never seen a gold battery before!

  • Filed under: watch
  • Comments!
  • » My husband had one of these and loved it. I am trying to find one for our anniversary. Any idea where I could locate a vintage watch such as this?
  • by: shannon newman, submitted Monday, June 15th, 2009 - 2:29 pm
  • » I am happy to know some one who has the ai-1000 casio flip top, I have 3 and only one works, it seems each time we change the battery the watch do not work any more, then after a wile I try again and sometime it work for only a small time. Do you think that the gold plated battery has a impact on the fonction of that watch?
  • by: robert malo, submitted Sunday, September 13th, 2009 - 6:52 pm
  • » A very nice watch indeed. :-)

    I first saw this watch on an Australian TV show ("Beyond 2000") years ago and fell in love with it.

    However, it was never made available in South Africa. Also, CASIO did not continue this watch for long. I often wonder why not. Even by today's standards, it is a good watch.
  • by: David Snell, submitted Sunday, January 31st, 2010 - 1:56 pm
  • » I own a Casio IA 2000, with a leather strap.

    It is indeed a beautiful watch, but the digital part is actually difficult to use.
    On a daily basis, I prefer to were my CFX 200.
  • by: lAEDERICH, submitted Sunday, February 14th, 2010 - 3:12 am
  • » does anyone know what this watch be worth today if selling? even if its not working?
  • by: sanjay , submitted Sunday, May 9th, 2010 - 4:32 pm
  • » I would like to find someone that can fix this watch or a place that I could purchase another one. I sent mine off to Casio repair in California and after four months of no answers to several calls THEY BECAME ANGRY WITH ME AND SENT MY WATCH BACK TO ME AFTER GIVING ME AN ANGRY PHONE CALL. WHERE CAN I GO NOW?
  • by: Jay, submitted Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 - 2:28 pm
  • » I have a Casio IA2000 which needs repair-its not running. I had it fixed twice but no one knows how to repair it at present. I absolutly love this watch-its really beatifull.I may try taking it to Europe for repair. Does anyone know of an expert watch repairer who can fix it?
  • by: Nelson J Ivins, submitted Thursday, May 19th, 2011 - 8:10 am
  • » Help! My Casio IA1000 Fliptop needs a battery replacement, and I can't find a jeweler confident that they can do the job. Does anyone know a source for correct battery and someone to do the replacement? Thanks.
  • by: Jerry, submitted Sunday, May 27th, 2012 - 2:14 pm
  • » I am the owner of a fliptop IA 1000 which I bought a long time ago. I have used the watch for special occations more as the jewel I think it is. Normally I do only use my phone to check what time it is. Now I need to change battery but I do not know how to open the case. Anybody who can advice me??
  • by: Bengt Essle, submitted Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 - 3:33 am
  • » Guessing Casio spec'd a gold-plated battery to limit potential corrosion damage to the keypad. (A deluxe upgrade, whatever the reasoning.)
    Nice write-up!
  • by: Louis, submitted Thursday, October 11th, 2012 - 6:32 am
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