Casio’s CL-301 is one of a number of watches that share the 20-button case. They all look kind of similar, and share a number of functions, but each has at least one unique feature that separates it from the rest.
This time it’s the addition of solar power. The CL-301 used a 926R battery (long since discontinued) to power the time, date, dual time, stopwatch, alarm, calculator and light functions and, when it started to run low, a sunshine icon would appear on the display to remind the wearer to get some sunshine!
The watch also has a countdown timer as a hidden feature not mentioned in the owner’s manual. To access this feature, put the watch in stopwatch mode and press a number key on the panel rather than using the stopwatch buttons on the side of the watch. (Thanks to former casionerd.com website for this tip).
It was odd to see the addition of a light on a solar-powered watch, as it tends to be a bit of a battery hog in any watch – let alone one that has to be constantly recharging.
This is a very rare watch, as vintage Casios go, but is anyone’s guess as to why. Perhaps the other 20-button watches sold better – the CA-901 with game, the CA-951 with multiple alarms, or maybe the CD-401 databank, or CFX-200 scientific calculator.
Whatever the reason, it’s a great shame as it’s a fantastic looking watch and the whole solar-powered calculator thing is an added bonus.
Look long and hard for one of these, but expect to pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one.