The ’70s were an extraordinary era in the watch industry. That decade gave us some of the most fantastic designs and timepieces that are still sought after among vintage collectors. Just think of watches like the Omega Flightmaster, the Zenith El Primero TV (ref. 01-200-415), or the topic of this article, the Amida Digitrend. While the Flightmaster or the El Primero played in a different league than the Digitrend, the Amida’s design language was undeniably distinct. After many decades of passivity, in 2024, the iconic Amida Digitrend is finally back. 

As a fan of the original and who has owned multiple examples over the years, I received this news with pure excitement. Could the new Amida Digitrend be as good as the vintage model was? Would it live up to my expectations? Would I wear it? These are just some of the questions that popped into my head. Hopefully, this article will give you the answer to these and many more.

Amida Digitrend


Before we take a closer look at the new Amida Digitrend, let me give you some background on the company’s history. Amida was founded in Grenchen in 1925 by Mr. Joseph Zwahlen. Eventually, the company relocated to Montreux in 1949. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, Amida moved toward jump-hour watches and filed a jump-hour patent in 1970. Fun fact: the original patent number (No. 3,685,283) is visible on early vintage Amida Digitrend case backs. A few years later, in 1973, another patent was filed, this time for the LRD (Light Reflecting Display), which the Digitrend is known for. The movement lies horizontally in the watch case, and through the LRD, which works as a prism, the time is displayed vertically on the dial. This is the same system the modern Amida Digitrend also uses. 

Consumers had to wait another three years before the final product would hit the market. The Amida Digitrend debuted during the Basel Fair in 1976 as the first-ever mechanical casquette timepiece. Other similar models were on the market, like the Girard-Perregaux Casquette and the Bulova Computron. Still, those watches used quartz movements with LED displays instead of a mechanical caliber with the LRD prism system. Unfortunately, like many brands of this era, Amida succumbed to the Quartz Crisis and disappeared from the watch scene at the end of the 1970s. However, thanks to a group of enthusiasts, Amida has finally returned with its most popular model, the Digitrend.

Amida Digitrend


We are no strangers to re-editions. Huge numbers of new timepieces nowadays have either vintage-inspired designs or are more or less 1:1 aesthetic copies of their predecessors. The new Amida Digitrend falls into the latter category as well. While the dimensions and case shape are a tad different from the vintage models, the two watches look identical to the naked eye. The most obvious difference is the weight. If you hold vintage and new Digitrends, you can feel the substantial weight difference of over 70 grams. While the vintage chromed-case model weighs only 91 grams, the new Amida is made of a solid block of 316L steel and weighs 164 grams. In terms of measurements, the watch case is 39.6mm in diameter, 39mm long, and 15.6mm at its thickest point. Consequently, it is not a tiny piece but sits exceptionally well on the wrist thanks to its overall design. 

While the old Digitrend took a 20mm strap/bracelet, the new version is 22mm wide. Nevertheless, just like the vintage model, the all-new Digitrend will also be available on a strap and a very sturdy and comfortable bracelet that looks just like the original minus the flimsiness. Moving on to the case back, we see that it’s fixed with four screws, helping to make the watch water resistant to 5 ATM (50 meters). The exciting feature, however, is not the screwed back but the Take-off Edition’s display window, which provides a glimpse of the automatic movement that is the heart and soul of the Amida Digitrend. 

Amida Digitrend

Soprod inside

And while we’re talking about the movement, let’s discuss what’s inside the new Amida Digitrend. The vintage version had an extremely basic one-jewel pin-lever caliber that one could upgrade with a 17-jewel version. Finding a donor watch, swapping the hour and minute plates, and reassembling the watch is the way to go. This time, you don’t need such “sorcery.” Inside the new Amida Digitrend beats Soprod’s Newton caliber. We are talking about a 23-jewel automatic movement with 44 hours of power reserve and a 28,800vph frequency. However, this is not a usual Soprod but a heavily modified one featuring an in-house-developed module. The module doubles as a casing ring for the perfect fit inside the Amida’s housing. 

Amida Digitrend

Driver on the wrist

The Amida Digitrend is a driver’s watch, meaning the best way to read it is while holding the steering wheel of a car. Consequently, it takes a bit of time to adjust to the fact that you won’t be able to tell the time just by one glance. On the contrary, you must twist your wrist in the right direction to see and read the time via the sapphire prism. If such nuances bother you, the Amida Digitrend, vintage or modern, is not for you. Conversely, you’d enjoy rocking this fantastic wrist beast if you want such horological delicacies. The charcoal Alcantara strap with an orange lining is extremely comfortable and makes the watch stand out. If you fancy steel over the strap, the bracelet is built amazingly well and gives a lot of heft to the watch overall. Also, thanks to the quick-release spring bars, you can easily swap between them.

Amida Digitrend

Closing words

The first collector’s series, the Take-off Edition, will launch on the 28th of May as a preorder. The price is CHF 2,900 (excluding VAT), which will only increase after the pre-launch. You can order it on Amida’s website. So, if you want to secure one at a great price, here’s the chance. Yes, around €3K plus tax is a lot of money for a microbrand watch; trust me, I know. However, for the money you pay, you will get a very well-made, quality timepiece with a unique design and superb usability. If you are looking for something with an Haute Horlogerie feel for a fraction of the price, the Amida Digitrend is a timepiece to consider. 

Watch specifications

Black with hour and minute windows
Case Material
316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
39.6mm (diameter) × 39mm (length) × 15.6mm (thickness)
Sapphire prism
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire crystal (Take-off Edition only)
Soprod Newton P092: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 44-hour power reserve, 23 jewels, in-house-developed module for jump hour and scrolling minutes
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50m)
Charcoal Alcantara with orange calfskin lining and pin buckle and stainless steel single-row bracelet with butterfly clasp (22mm width)
CHF 2,900 (ex. VAT)