Rare 1988 Apple Watch predecessor 'WristMac' expected to get $25K at auction

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited November 2021
A never-worn "WristMac" smart watch from 1988, still in its original packaging, is expected to fetch between $25,000 and $50,000 at auction.

A WristMac from 1988 (not the one being auctioned). Source: <a href=@pinot on Twitter." height="714" />
A WristMac from 1988 (not the one being auctioned). Source: @pinot on Twitter.


The WristMac was a watch made by Seiko, which used AppleTalk to connect to a Mac. First released in 1988, it's most notable use was aboard the space shuttle "Atlantis."

As reported at the time by the New York Times, in 1991, "Atlantis" famously had a Macintosh Portable aboard for sending emails. What is less known is that the astronauts each wore a WristMac that was used in ways that will be surprisingly recognizable to present-day Apple Watch owners.

"When it is time to snap photographs of a particular feature on Earth or in the cosmos," said the New York Times, "a WristMac will sound an alarm and display a two-line individual chore reminder."

Now an original, unused, even unopened WristMac is about to be auctioned by ComicConnect.com. More usually used to auctioning pop culture memorabilia, the company is taking bids on the WristMac from November 22, 2021, through to December 18th, 2021.

"It's an incredible find-- one of the earliest examples of wearable computing technology," said Stephen Fishler, ComicConnect CEO and Cofounder. "The WristMac has rarely been seen since its inception over 30 years ago -- and it will likely be years before another one surfaces."

"The WristMac is so rare, it's hard to predict what it will sell for," he continued. "We couldn't find any recent confirmed sales."

Auction photograph showing the lot including WristMac
Auction photograph showing the lot including WristMac


This particular WristMac was sold for less than $50 in a Connecticut Mac warehouse's closing-down sale. The buyer never even opened the original packaging.

Bidding starts at $1 on the ComicConnect site.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    M68000M68000 Posts: 765member
    So the real question is - did Apple have anything at all to do with this or just Seiko?   This old stuff reminds me,  I have a Psion brand hand held “organizer” from 1986.  The Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad on this if I remember correctly.  For $300 dollars you got a handheld with 2 line LED text display and a whopping 16 kilobytes memory, but expandable. Powered by a 9volt battery and a slot for tiny version of rs232 port. And it says “made in UK” on it,  imagine that.    You could run simple programs on it or use as a calculator or calendar type device…. $300 was a lot of money to me back then..  would love to auction for let’s say $25,000 today ha ha
    edited November 2021 jdgazwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16

    Oops, I thought that Samsung thought, that they  were  the first.... :)

    edited November 2021 viclauyycStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    It’s basically a Seiko watch that connects to an Apple protocol, not an Apple product and without the Apple design thinking behind it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    M68000 said:
    So the real question is - did Apple have anything at all to do with this or just Seiko?   This old stuff reminds me,  I have a Psion brand hand held “organizer” from 1986.  The Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad on this if I remember correctly.  For $300 dollars you got a handheld with 2 line LED text display and a whopping 16 kilobytes memory, but expandable. Powered by a 9volt battery and a slot for tiny version of rs232 port. And it says “made in UK” on it,  imagine that.    You could run simple programs on it or use as a calculator or calendar type device…. $300 was a lot of money to me back then..  would love to auction for let’s say $25,000 today ha ha
    Imagine you used the money to buy APPL
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    This is way cool. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Is today April 1?
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Just because it’s rare, doesn’t make it valuable. But we are living in today’s lunacy, so it will probably sell for 2 billion.  :D
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 8 of 16
    ... not an Apple product and without the Apple design thinking behind it ...
    Although SEIKO does have low end stuff to make some products widely accessible, it remains that SEIKO is one of the premier brands mixing technology and style in the world: watches, eyewear, etc. Those colors might seem garish today but in the 80's that was the bee's knees, just look at the Apple logo of yesteryear. The beige box Macs of the day would not score too many points today either.  But a classic SEIKO self-winding watch still holds fray today from both a technological and style standpoint. And it can still be had at a reasonable price with the right options. I can't think of anything that Apple has made which has kept as much relevance over time, but that's expected. And if it used AppleTalk then clearly it leaned on Apple "thinking", heck this thing pretty much had notifications...
    gregoriusmqwerty52randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    seanjseanj Posts: 318member
    M68000 said:
    So the real question is - did Apple have anything at all to do with this or just Seiko?   This old stuff reminds me,  I have a Psion brand hand held “organizer” from 1986.  The Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad on this if I remember correctly.  For $300 dollars you got a handheld with 2 line LED text display and a whopping 16 kilobytes memory, but expandable. Powered by a 9volt battery and a slot for tiny version of rs232 port. And it says “made in UK” on it,  imagine that.    You could run simple programs on it or use as a calculator or calendar type device…. $300 was a lot of money to me back then..  would love to auction for let’s say $25,000 today ha ha
    Sounds like a Psion 2 Organiser, had one myself after the company I worked for in ‘89 shut its warehouse where they were used for stock control. And yes designed and built in the  U.K. 
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Organiser
    edited November 2021 netroxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Oh sh**. Never seen this one! This predates the analog Apple watch from the 90s!

    qwerty52 said:

    Oops, I thought that Samsung thought, that they  were  the first.... :)


    Samsung knows they follow and rip-off Apple. It’s the iKnockoff morons who regurgitate their marketing BS like the sheep they are. Everyone knew the Watch was coming that’s why Sammy crapped out a watch so iKnockoff morons can cry “first!” That’s what Apple mocked at the Apple Watch event. Don’t be surprised if they crap out a cheap car and glasses before they arrive.

    Apple had smart watches before the Apple Watch BTW that were about as popular as the Galaxy crap. There was an article comparing the 2010 iPod watch to the galaxy crap and it held up well and better.


    StrangeDaysqwerty52
  • Reply 11 of 16
    This got me thinking why Apple Watch can't take picture. It would be a really cool feature if it does. It doesn't has to be HD resolution picture.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,035member
    This got me thinking why Apple Watch can't take picture. It would be a really cool feature if it does. It doesn't has to be HD resolution picture.
    There are aftermarket cameras for the Apple Watch.  I doubt they sell many.  

    You can use the Apple Watch to control an iPhone camera, which can be super useful.  The other day I used that feature to take a picture of the back of my car when I had my foot on the brake pedal to determine which bulb was out. 
    Spitbathravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,438member
    Don't see how it is even worth that much. 
  • Reply 14 of 16
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,677member
    netrox said:
    Don't see how it is even worth that much. 
    So says everyone that has no interest in collectables.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    It’s basically a Seiko watch that connects to an Apple protocol, not an Apple product and without the Apple design thinking behind it. 
    A lot like the first iTunes cell phone, the Motorola ROKR:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_ROKR

    ...Jobs allowed it, but they had very little involvement in it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    You can get these all day long on ebay or japanese auctions for 150 to 300 USD. There is one for 150 on ebay right now. This is either an attempt to hype things or just not researched topic. Below is a fine review: 
    watto_cobra
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