Casio TC-600 Touchscreen Calculator

Casio TC-600 Touchscreen Calculator

Casio always had the edge with touchscreen technology in their watches and the TC-600 was no exception.

There were three similar touchscreen calculator watches in this series, sharing two modules [119] and [120].

The TC-50 was the plastic/resin watch which had the [120] module (NB the only difference between the modules was that [120] didn’t have a light). The TC-500 was a chrome-plated version with resin/plastic bezel which used the [119] module, and the TC-600 which again was chrome-plated but had no bezel and was probably the best looking of the three also using the [119] module.

The crystal is divided into sections that react when pressed with a fingertip (but not with a stylus – sound familiar…like an iPhone) so this innocuous looking watch becomes a fully-featured eight-digit calculator.

This kind of technology springboarded Casio into creating their flagship touchscreen products, the AT-550 and DB-1000 but even on its own, this technology was incredibly impressive for the early 1980s.

Add to this all the other features of the watch, including three individual daily alarms, countdown timer, stopwatch etc and you realise the Casio programmers were wringing as much as they could out of the small chip that resided inside the [119] module!

The downside to this cutting edge technology is that it can break, and break annoyingly at that. Most ‘untested’ TC-600s you see on eBay will have one or more ‘keys’ that don’t work in calculator mode. Having a calculator with a broken key is next to useless so finding a fully-working one is gold! Obviously there just aren’t the parts around for these watches anymore, and I’ve never heard of anyone who has been able to repair a faulty touchscreen.

So keep an eye out for one of these – it is a great watch – but get a guarantee from the seller that it works 100% in calculator mode otherwise let some other sucker grab it instead.

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9 Responses to Casio TC-600 Touchscreen Calculator

  1. I still have my Casio TC-600, which is in pristine ‘working condition’. It was given to me by my staff when I ‘moved on’ back in 1983. Mine is the ‘GOLD’ version. I have had the battery replaced 3 times over the life of the watch, which requires a full ‘kit’ including new seals to maintain the waterproofing.
    The display is ‘fading’again, so it is due for a new battery again, IF I can actually find somebody with the right kit.
    I use it as my ‘dress watch’ for special functions, and it still attracts attention!

    • I still have my Casio TC-600, too. My mom bought it for me December 1984 as a Christmas gift I picked out of a catalog. The batteries tend to last 5-6 years for me. I replaced the crystal in 1996 with a TC-500 crystal through a watch repair shop(due to dropping and shattering it) and finally in 2017 with the proper TC-600 crystal from ebay.

  2. this days I remembered to my TC-600. I replaced the battery (1620) and it dosen´t work only the light is o.k. )-:

    • Hi, did you do the AC reset? If you’re unaware of this, it’s when you short the AC pin to the + of the battery after you’ve done a battery change, which gives the watch a reboot of sorts. Ideally you use a pair of metal tweezers to do this, but even a paper clip will suffice if it’s all you have:

      AC Reset – TC-600

  3. Hi I just bought a tc 600 at auction for $5. I thought getting a new battery would be easy but I’m coming to see that it’s more difficult than expected. I can order the rechargeable clt1616 but what is this seal that I’ve read about and what equipment do I need to pop off the back?

    • Hi – the TC-600 doesn’t take a rechargeable battery (there’s no solar panels or charging mechanism) – just a regular CR1616. To remove the caseback, first remove the bracelet and you’ll see where you can use a small screwdriver (or get a caseback opener) to pop the back open. If you’re at all concerned, though, take it to a watchmaker – particularly if it’s in nice condition and you don’t want to risk scratching it or getting the battery change wrong.

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