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“FUTURE FUNK” is a popular roller digital watch with a space age design that was popular in the 1970s.

Roller-type digital clocks are said to be the predecessor of today's digital clocks. The roller with the numbers on it rotates vertically, allowing the numbers representing the time to be seen through the window on the dial. It features an innovative and futuristic design reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s.

ROLLER DIGITAL WATCH What is a roller watch?

In the 1970s, when all humans were dreaming of space travel, the watch industry produced many watches with innovative designs. Swiss watch designers were creating watches one after another that would leave today's watch designers wagging. Representative examples from this era include the Spaceman by ANDRE LE MARQUAND, and disc and roller wristwatches that used mechanical movements.

Photo: Spaceman by ANDRE LE MARQUAND

A disc wristwatch is a clock with a system in which the time can be seen through a window on the dial by horizontally rotating a disc with numbers printed on it, and a small Swiss workshop makes many of these watches. I did.

Photo: Disc wristwatch at the time

In addition to rotating the disc horizontally, a clock with a roller rotating vertically, similar to car meters and airplane instruments, was also developed and announced at BASEL WORLD in 1974, but both were compared with Japanese quartz watches. Then, it was defeated in terms of accuracy, which is the function of a clock.

Even today, digital clocks with a horizontally rotating disc can sometimes be seen on the market as vintage items. Putting aside whether there was a need for such gimmicky watches in the days when watches were made in small factories as a cottage industry using general-purpose moves, I am moved by the challenging spirit of the watchmakers of the time. .

Photo: Disc wristwatch at the time

Even today, as tastes have diversified with the changing times, one of the dreams of those involved in watch development is to develop innovative and accurate products that respect the designs of the time. Many watch manufacturers have continued to take on the challenge of developing roller-type watches through trial and error. ``ETA owns most of the patents for making machines work accurately, and mechanical types have strong torque (the force that drives the clock) but are expensive.'' ``Quartz is low cost. Despite the price, we continued to face problems such as not being able to maintain enough power to accurately rotate a heavy drum. Under such circumstances, a factory in China succeeded in developing it. Today's China, where competition is fierce, requires advanced technology and a high-quality manufacturing spirit, unlike in the past, and production levels have increased rapidly since the beginning of the 200s. A Chinese factory finally succeeded in developing and patenting a roller movement. Our dream of reproducing the 1970s roller wristwatch has finally come true.