Some watches you can pick up, quickly get to grips with all the functions, and think to yourself “yep, this time those designers really nailed it.” And sometimes you find watches like the Casio TM-100.
This is the kind of watch you pick up, work out how to use the alarm, stopwatch and countdown timer, then think “what’s with the aerial?”
Then you discover Casio built a reasonably powerful (well, powerful for a watch) transmitter into the watch, enabling you to transmit your voice up to 100m to a waiting FM receiver.
So a spy gadget widely used (probably to best effect in 1981’s James Bond – For Your Eyes Only – only with a Seiko, not a Casio) in movies in the 1970s and 1980s was finally available for real. Pity that Casio released it in 1987 when there wasn’t so much of a sniff at a spy movie (Leonard – Part 6 anyone?).
It does what it says though, and by playing with your FM radio dial (find some off-station static) and then tuning with the fourth ‘button’ on the watch, you can get a passable signal transmitted.
Exactly what you’d use it for is anyone’s guess and while I’ve heard of someone matching up the TM-100 with a Citizen Radio Watch, realistically it’s just a novelty – albeit a very clever one, and one that shows Casio had lost none of its innovation in the late part of the 1980s (they released the VS-101 still/video digital camera the same year).
This is a rare watch — if you see one for sale it’s unlikely to go for peanuts. Given its novelty factor I suspect it was sold in reasonably small numbers and, while they do pop up from time to time, they sell for many times their original RRP.