Smart watches were smarter in the 1980’s

Smart watches were smarter in the 1980's

Smart watches and specifically a rather expensive model named after a fruit haven’t been selling all that well apparently. Here’s a look back at some other wrist based flops and triumphs to see if we can figure out why that is…

The Apple watch (I still can’t understand why it isn’t iWatch) is kind of cool, I played with one today in the Apple store. It has all the basic features of an iPhone in a wrist sized package which is predictably well designed and a joy to use. This main problem with the Apple watch and every modern day smart watch is that they essentially do the same thing as smart phones which we all have in our pockets. Back in the 80’s (and early 90’s) smart watches followed the same principal. Miniature versions of pocket versions of things.

The Nintendo LCD game wrist watches were smaller versions of the mobile telephone sized Game and Watch devices which were miniature versions of games consoles and of course the calculator watch was a wearable pocket calculator which was a miniature version of one of those adding machines that accountants used to have.

There was of course the Casio TV remote control watch which did come in pretty handy if you couldn’t find the remote or couldn’t be bothered to get up and walk to the television. And also for annoying your Dad when he’s trying to watch the 6 o’ clock news.

Perhaps the ultimate smart watch of all time was the Seiko TV watch. In reality it was just a tiny little screen on your wrist with crappy reception and a crappy picture but who the hell cared. James Bond had one so how could it not be cool?


When all is said and done however, the TV watch was just like the rest of the smart watches. Just a device to save you the small amount of effort it takes to reach into your pocket. Or find a full sized TV set.


I think we can establish that smart watches are just a fashion accessory which in real life aren’t really that useful. They are smaller versions of things that already have pocket sized versions of them. It feels like a step too far.

In reality though, where would be the fun in life if it wasn’t for useless things? I’m off to try and track down a TV for my wrist.