The early calculator watches from Casio are by far my favourite because there were so many variations on a theme.
They tested the watches with the 133 module — a six-digit calculator watch with chronograph and dual time but not much else —found in the C-60, C-70(1) and C-80(1), and, buoyed by the success of the calculator watch with soft-touch buttons that didn’t require a stylus, launched into a new range of 8-digit calculator watches, with alarms, hourly time signals, chronographs, countdown timers, melodies, a game, solar power and more besides.
Each watch had to be unique, despite looking like (containing the same 20-button layout) and containing some of the same core features, mostly the calculator function.
The CA-951 was for the person who was serious about alarms, or appointments, or getting the most out of their sleep in the morning.
It was the only watch of this series with a vented caseback, to make the alarm even louder than on other models.
There was a standard daily melody alarm (Simon and Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair — the only Casio watch ever to feature this melody and the only watch in this series to have a melody alarm at all) plus three other alarms — one weekly, the other two daily alarms but with pre or post alarm snooze features.
Setting the pre daily alarm meant that you would get a two-second chime ten then five minutes before the alarm sounded (Syncopated Clock melody). The post daily alarm would do the same thing but five and ten minutes after the alarm had activated (Do, La, Fa, La x 4).
It also had an hourly time signal, activated by pressing the multiplication key when in normal time mode, and the ability to turn on or off sounds in calculator mode. It has 12/24 hour time, a countdown timer and chronograph.
It also lets you set the calendar well into the 2000’s, something the majority of Casio watches would not let you do (most of them seemed to top out around 1999, meaning that you had to use a perpetual calendar to find out the 1970s/80s equivalent of the current year). I set this one to 2016 and it was perfect, my suspicion is it goes to 2020.
Side note: In Countdown Timer mode you see the abbreviation TA (to go with AL for alarm mode, ST for stopwatch etc). I’m not exactly sure what TA is, probably Timer Alarm, but CT might have been a bit clearer!
The CA-951 (and resin brother CA-95) was awesome in every respect, except the LCD. I’d estimate around 80% of these models you see today have some kind of LCD bleed, from small but annoying right up to unreadable.
Which is why I like this one even better. It’s used, but was kept in pretty good condition and the LCD is perfect.