Apple watches are cool and extremely collectible. No, I’m not talking about the highly anticipated smart watch dubbed the iWatch. Instead, I’m talking about the timepieces pictured in their Apple product catalogs during the mid to late 1980’s and then others used as promotional items throughout the 1990s.
As the world excitedly awaits Apple’s unveiling of their first new iDevice since the iPad and first wearable computer, I can’t help but think back to their watches of old. These were analog timepieces. Nothing smart about them either, but they looked cool and authentic examples sell into the hundreds of dollars today.
The earliest watch I’ve found was featured in their The Apple Collection catalog from 1987. It was understated and sleek. Apple also produced a smaller fold out brochure of products that same year and it offered women’s and men’s versions. As I dug into their watches I found two sites – one is a fellow member of the Cult, Mark Johnson. His flickr page displays his fantastic collection for us to enjoy. The other is an archive page of watches on Red Light Runner. If you like Apple’s watches and all their dozens of variations – some crazy ones too – then check out these two sites.
The funny thing is yesterday I foggily remembered, or thought I remembered, I owned one too. Then I looked over my Apple collection shelves and sure ‘nuf, I did have one and have decided to wear it in celebration of Apple’s press conference. It was released to commemorate their Mac OS 7.5 operating system in 1995. We never know for sure what Apple’s going to do or roll-out at these productions, but the consensus is the iWatch will be announced (no one actually expects this wearable iDevice to be called the iWatch though).
Unless someone’s been under a rock for a while, the speculation about this wearable computer ranges from it being able to determine the sex of an unborn child to identifying your future mate and some say it can even predict future stock prices. Well, not actually, but even still the talk of this device’s capabilities is off the charts.
Did you know Apple started work on their smart watch back in their early days? I kid you not. In fact, a prototype is pictured in “Keep it Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple” written by Harmut Esslinger, Founder of frog design. It’s a pretty crazy looking wrist worn communicator from the early to mid 1980’s. The keypad has 12 keys. The companion headset is a single earpiece design with a microphone. Granted this could be more of a “phone” than a smart watch, but let’s not get hung up in semantics. Point is Apple doesn’t do things on a whim or just because a competitor does.
Apple’s announcement is going to be exciting and I’ll be watching to see how cool this new smart watch is first hand. And yes, I’ll probably buy the first generation, if, for no other reason, but to add it to my Mac Museum….cause I don’t wear a watch, except for today.