Ahead of their time

Multi-function watches Paging, e-mailing, even filming - telling the hours and minutes is the least of what the new watches do. Martin Skegg and Michael Oliviera-Salac report

Citizen Independent Drum 'n' Bass The fun bit is the three alarm tunes mixed by Japanese DJ Ken Ishii, and there is a funky blue backlight. pounds 79. Available from Face for Watches, Thomas Neal Centre, London WC2 and by mail order on 0171-379 1179

Casio Protrek PRT400L (above, top) Keep in touch with your place in time and space. This has built-in digital compass, altimeter, barometer and thermometer. pounds 220. Available from Watch 2 Watch, 97 Kings Road, London SW3 (0171-351 4606). For further stockists and information, call Casio on 0181-450 9131. Breitling Emergency (above) It's got the chronograph, alarm and countdown function you would expect, and if you pull out the antenna in an emergency it sends out a distress signal in Morse code every 60 seconds. pounds 3,055. Available from Watches of Switzerland, 500 Oxford Street, London W1 (0171-629 3151). For your nearest branch, call 0171-931 7171.

Below, from left: Oktos HR11 Heart Watch For the fitness fanatic, this measures the heart rate using a transmitter belt on the chest and includes a handlebar mount. pounds 60, mail order only, from Elite on 01664 444 513. Timex Ironman Triathlon All the usual features plus a datalink function which can download information from the watch to your PC as well as reading information off your PC screen (using the special software that comes with it). Also works as a personal organiser. From pounds 40. For further information and stockists, contact Timex on 0171-630 8180. Timex Motorola Beepwear Currently unavailable in the UK, the Timex Motorola Beepwear can receive pager messages and is the only watch able to receive e-mail. For further information, visit the Timex website at www.beepwear.com, or contact Face for Watches, as before.

Watch camera (above, top) Not just an Eighties-style digital watch. This has a built-in camera (focusing depth 1m to infinity) enabling photos to be taken in a totally unobtrusive manner. Takes a special 5mm negative and comes complete with its own DIY processing kit. pounds 1,000 + VAT. For further information and mail order, call Spymaster on 0171-486 3885. Casio Touch Screen VDB 200 (above) Use the touch screen to access data from four memory areas (business, private, play, personal), to use the calculator and set the five alarms. A remarkably small watch but you don't need small fingers. pounds 80. For further stockists and information, call Casio as before.

Below, from left: Seiko Sports 150 Flight Computer Everything for the wannabe pilot, including chronograph, alarms, dual time display, plus logarithmic and conversion scales to help with calculations and navigation. pounds 275. For further information, contact Seiko on 01628 770988. Casio DBV300 Includes a voice recorder that stores up to five messages of six seconds duration each, and there's also a handy 30-page databank for storing telephone numbers. pounds 65. Available from Face for Watches, as before. For further stockists and information, call Casio as before. Casio Mr G Limited edition, made from titanium, this has a databank and a world time facility, so you know the time in up to 40 cities around the world. pounds 350. Available from Watch 2 Watch,as before. For further stockists and information, call G Shock on 0800 253 571.

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