Watch snobs, tech geeks and people too lazy to take their phones out of their pockets are eagerly awaiting April 24. That’s when we can finally purchase the Apple Watch, easily the most anticipated smartwatch to date.
But will it be worth the hype? We won’t know for a few more weeks. So until then, we 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 looks like the Apple Watch may lack some basic features that made its predecessors stand out...
Confusing Nintendo games
1982 brought an advancement to watches that the Apple Watch still doesn’t have: the ability to watch live TV. The Seiko TV Watch required the user to carry around a separate transmitter that connected directly to the watch. That may 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 $12,000 (inflation-adjusted) price tag
There is an 18 karat gold Apple Watch that will sell for $10,000, but previous digital watches score another victory when it comes to insane pricing. In 1972, the 18 karat gold Hamilton Pulsar 1 Limited Edition Watch sold for $2,100. That would amount to about $12,000 in 2015. In just a few years, better technology made that price point laughable. That will 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 was not explicitly mentioned in the September 2014 Apple Event. Maybe showing off 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 commercial for the Multichron Calculator Watch details 21 “individual” features (the 21st is the price) such as: being able to multiply, add, subtract and to tell time down to the hour, minute AND second.
Light beam data transfer with bulldog tutorial
In 1994, the Timex DataLink 150 let a user transfer and store data from a computer to the watch just by holding it in front of the computer screen. The Apple Watch can just sync to your iCal, so it does have a better way to transfer data. But if Apple was really smart, they would have figured out how to get a cool-looking bulldog to show people how to use their product.
Indiglo nocturnal light
Indiglo technology revolutionized the watch world by letting people easily tell time in the dark. This won’t 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 once again, YOU LOSE, APPLE WATCH!
At no point during the two-hour-long Apple 2014 September Event did Tim Cook mention Apple technology being directly inspired by the ancient Mayan civilization. Texas Instruments was so deeply moved by the Mayans’ “special reverence for time” that they made it the focus of their advertising campaign. If the Apple Watch fails to live up to expectations, perhaps it will be due to the wrath of an angry Kukulkan?
If you'd like to learn more about evolution of the watch from the sundial to pocket watch to wristwatch to digital watch to smartwatch, check out this infographic from eBay Deals Blog: