Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Swatch Turn Around PAN205 Pager Watch

Today's watch is a gadget watch of an era which is now over...

The watch is by Swatch from 1994 and was part of a series called The Beep. The special feature of the watch is that it contains a pager. A pager (or beeper) was the device that would be used to transfer messages in a small mobile package before mobile phones became so popular. Even I am so young that I never really used a pager, and the only times I remember it was from TV medical dramas where they used to ask someone to "page the doctor, this is an emergency"! Pager technology started in the 50s and work through short messages being sent from a radio transmitter to the device. By the end of the 90s, pagers hand become niche products, only being used by hospitals and emergency services as they are reliable and need only a low signal strength to work.

The Swatch pagers were released around the early 90s but have no signal anymore, meaning that they are not so collectable because they don't work. They are larger than the normal Swatch watches and have an ana-digi display. They are also recognisable by the 3 wires stretched across the display which is part of the aerial. Time is displayed on the 2 hand dial (where the hands move in jumps rather than continuous motion), while the LCD is reserved for the pager function.

This model is called Turn Around and was part of the Spring Summer 1994 collection. The model number for this design is PAN205.

The back of the watch has lots of information about the Pager functions. It says it is by Hutchison paging, and can be called on 1128003. It also states the Pager runs on a frequency of 279.7125, but doesn't give the units. There are also two small buttons on the back with the message 'press both buttons and pull wristlet out' which is the way to get to the watch battery, so I don't actually know how to switch the Pager on.

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