The Caliper Slide View
The ‘Caliper Slide View’ is the latest watch design by Caliper Timepieces. Like our other watches, it’s a design inspired by mid-twentieth century technical instruments; the precision tools that scientists and engineers relied on before electronics became ubiquitous.
The 'Caliper Slide View' combines a self-winding mechanical watch with an icon of pre-electronic technology: the slide rule.
In this watch, we’ve integrated a slide rule that is designed to be easy to learn and simple to use. Our intent is to provide a tool that is useful on a daily basis by optimizing clarity and legibility. Both scales are under the crystal rather than on an exterior bezel. We’ve put the index of the inner scale at the 12 position. Unlike some slide rule watches that are meant to emulate a pilot’s ‘flight computer’, our slide rule is designed for general calculations.
Is the slide rule an archaic curiosity? It may be that most people don’t know how to use one, but with a little help, they’ll find it to be a handy device with every-day applications. To that end, we’re including concise instructions along with an 8cm steel version of the slide rule for practice. In addition to multiplication and division, the slide rule is useful for currency conversion and unit conversion.
Currency conversion can be faster on a slide rule than on a calculator. After setting the slide rule to a particular conversion factor, no more data entry is required. For example, you are traveling from the US to Canada. You find the exchange rate to be $1CAD = $0.79USD. You set 7.9 on the outer scale to align with the 1 on the inner scale:
Now, at a glance, you can convert from US to Canadian dollars. US dollars are on the outer scale and Canadian dollars are on the inner scale. From the outside going in, you can see that $400USD is around $500CAD. $20USD is $25CAD and $1USD is $1,27CAD. From the outside going out, $25CAD is $20US and $50CAD is $40USD.
The same method can be applied to unit conversion. On the steel slide rule, we’ve included some conversion factors and on some of our watch designs we show conversion factors on the watch face.
The retail price for the Caliper Slide View is $495USD. The watch case is milled from 316L steel; it has a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 10 ATM. The motion of the balance wheel is faintly revealed through the dark, semi-transparent glass of the watch face. The movement is an open heart automatic (82SO) by Miyota. The diameter of the case measures 43mm and the thickness is 13mm. The width of the band is 22mm.
There are two crowns on the case. The smaller crown at 2 controls the movement and the crown at 4 turns the outer part of the slide rule inside the case. Both crowns screw down, which improves the structural integrity of the watch. The screw down feature also prevents the slide rule from being accidentally moved.
Until relatively recently, the slide rule was the dominant calculating device for technical professionals. In the mid-seventies, electronic calculators took over and the ability to make use a of slide rule has now become a rare skill. The Caliper Slide View will help you discover, or rediscover, the utility of this simple yet brilliant device.