Casio IA-1000

Casio IA-1000

Casio’s IA-1000 is about the most unassuming calculator/databank/multi-alarm watch ever!

On the surface, it looks like a stylish analog dress watch, with gold plate and a leather strap.

The only giveaway that things are not quite what they seem are the words ‘databank’ below Casio, and Flip Top near the bottom of the dial.

And when you flip the top, that’s where the magic begins.

Through some glorious feat of electronic engineering, a battery (beneath the keypad) powers the digital and the analog through a (poorly designed?) ribbon cable that goes between the two halves.

The digital portion has time and date, then modes that alternate between stored telephone numbers, a scheduler, memo function, calculator, five alarms + hourly chime set, and back to the time again.

If this isn’t enough, there’s also a Secret function where telememo and memo modes can be protected with a password!

Sounds great, what’s the catch? The catch is a pretty significant one and it’s that thin cable between the two halves. If it gets damaged nothing will work on the watch at all and it’s only use will be a lightweight paperweight.

Casio didn’t make them in huge numbers so there aren’t too many around anyway, but of those that are, many/most are broken and they’re pretty much unrepairable. The parts are too small, too thin, and the glue too strong to really take one of these apart without causing more damage.

Shame, too, because it’s a very cool watch. Casio made another fliptop calculator- the ftp-10 and ftp-30 (same design, one was only a calculator, the other a databank as well) but even though they made five other ia-xxxx models, they never repeated the fliptop due to, I’m guessing, the fragility of the cable.

If you find one ‘untested’ – expect to pay several hundred dollars for it. For one in good working condition, a whole lot more.

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