Watch snobs, tech geeks, and people too lazy to pull their phones out of their pockets are eagerly awaiting April 24th. That’s when we can finally buy the Apple Watch, by far the most anticipated smartwatch to date.
But will it be worth the hype? We won’t know for a few weeks. So until then, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the digital watches from decades past and see how they compare to what we already know about the Apple Watch – especially since it seems that the Apple Watch may lack some of the basic features that made its predecessors stand out…
The Apple Watch may have Siri, but does it have Nintendo-licensed games ill-suited specifically for the Apple Watch? Maybe if Apple spent less time jamming U2’s albums into its products and more time whittling “Call of Duty” down to a few pixels, they could rival the Game Boy Watch.
1982 brought an advancement to watches that the Apple Watch still lacks: the ability to watch live TV. The Seiko TV watch required the user to carry a separate transmitter that connected directly to the watch. It might seem bulky and inconvenient, but since the Apple Watch doesn’t really work without an iPhone nearby, it’s kind of the same thing.
A prize of $12,000 (adjusted for inflation)
There’s an 18k gold Apple Watch that will sell for $10,000, but previous digital watches take another insane price win. In 1972, the limited-edition Hamilton Pulsar 1 18-karat gold watch sold for $2,100. That would be around $12,000 in 2015. In just a few years, better technology has made that price laughable. It’ll probably happen with the Apple Watch too, but the Pulsar got you the equivalent of $2,000 more of those laughs.
The Apple Watch probably has a calculator app, but it wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the September 2014 Apple event. Maybe showing how to use Facebook or Apple Maps seemed more important?
But in 1983, the Calculator Watch was so revolutionary that companies had to explicitly break down exactly what it could do. The advertisement for the Multichron Calculator Watch details 21 “individual” features (the 21st is the price) such as: being able to multiply, add, subtract and read the time up to the hour, the minute AND the second.
Light beam data transfer with bulldog tutorial
In 1994, the Timex DataLink 150 allowed a user to transfer and store data from a computer to the watch simply by holding it in front of the computer screen. The Apple Watch can just sync with your iCal, so it has a better way to transfer data. But if Apple was really smart, they would have figured out how to get a cool bulldog to show people how to use their product.
Indiglo technology has revolutionized the watch world by allowing people to easily tell the time in the dark. This will not be a problem for the Apple Watch. In fact, it’s probably harder to read an Apple Watch in the sun. But technically it doesn’t have Indiglo, so again, YOU LOSE, APPLE WATCH!
At no time during Apple’s two-hour September 2014 event did Tim Cook mention that Apple technology was directly inspired by the ancient Mayan civilization. Texas Instruments was so deeply moved by the Maya’s “special respect for time” that they made it the focus of their advertising campaign. If the Apple Watch fails to meet expectations, maybe it will be because of the anger of an angry Kukulkan?
If you want to learn more about the evolution of the watch from sundial to pocket watch to wristwatch to digital watch to smartwatch, check out this infographic from the eBay Deals blog: