The 1977 Pulsar Calculator Watch
Evenwith four batteries, the LED screen would only display the time (hour andminutes only -- no seconds) for just a few seconds in response to pressingthe "Pulsar" button in order to preserve battery life. Even with thispower-saving feature, the batteries would still only last a few weeks.I discovered that this model may have also displayed the time in response toflicking the wrist -- pretty fancy for its day.The LED display was long enough for six digits, so one could calculate fortuneswell into the hundreds of thousands. Apparently, the watch was actuallyable to calculate numbers up to 12 digits, but couldnot display them.The time on this watch was accurate to within 60 seconds a year -- good evenby today's standards. Unfortunately, you had to reset it every few weeks afterchanging the batteries.The Pulsar's calendar automatically adjusted for months of different lengths,however it did not take leap years into consideration.Apparently you can still buy these and similar watches brand new becausethey were being manufactured so quickly back then that supply outpaced demand. Whatan amazing collector's item a brand new Pulsar Calculator watch would be!I came across this classic while doing some shopping on eBay the other day. After18 bids, it ended up going for $1,125 -- not bad for a 27-year-old timepiece.Although the watch is nearly as old as I am, I was actually able to digup some pretty interesting facts on this relic from an age of much stronger arms.This watch originally sold for $395 ($495 for the 14 kt gold version). Accordingto two different inflation calculators, that's over $1,200 in today'smoney which means it has depreciated only slightly over the last 27 years. Anolder solid gold model sold for $3,950 (or at least that's what Pulsar was asking-- don't know how many were actually sold) which is well over $13,000 today.Brochures for these watches can easily go for over $80.For your $1,200 (adjusted for inflation), you got this massive stainless steelelectronic brick, an upscale case, anda stylus for pushing those tiny buttons. (I wonder if modern day styli cantrace their roots back to Pulsar calculator watches.) One end of the stylushad a ballpoint pen built in, and both ends actually retracted.This beast required four batteries to operate.