Sears, Spring/Summer 1978
It’s been a long time since “solid state” was a familiar phrase. It was on its way out in 1978, surely. It only turns up now in “Solid State Drives,” which we know far more by their acronym, SSD. Solid State basically meant “not using Vacuum Tubes” and originally applied to anything transistorized. These digital watches use integrated circuits, plus that latest electronic innovation – Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) with Tritium backlights. That way you didn’t even have to press a button to see the time, like you did with LED digital watches. (Batteries lasted longer too.)
And so we get a two-page spread devoted to “Solid State” watches (and one alarm clock) with no moving parts…plus a handful of traditional analog watches that look downright stylish in comparison. But never mind those. It was Digital Watches that were desirable in the late 1970s. Even in Terry Gilliam’s 1981 movie “Time Bandits”, the character of Evil desperately wants to understand how digital watches work, so he can then learn about computers and gain mastery over men.
It was funny at the time, but there may be something to that.