Seiko WristMac, aka the ‘first Apple Watch,’ will look weird as hell on your wrist

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Here's your chance to have your very own Seiko WristMac, a piece of wearable tech history.
Here's your chance to have your very own Seiko WristMac, a piece of wearable tech history.
Photo: ComicConnect

An exceedingly rare wearable from 1988 called a “WristMac” is currently on auction at ComicConnect. Seiko and partner company Ex Machina made this ancestor of the smart watch, not Apple, but it could connect to a Macintosh and perform certain functions — and a version of it even did so on a Space Shuttle mission. It’s expected to fetch anywhere between $25,000 and $100,000.

We’ll have to see it if goes that high. Bidding started on Monday at $1. It stood Tuesday at $950 with 30 bids in. The auction runs through December 18.

Seiko WristMac: Early example of wearable tech

The WristMac is an early example of wearable technology. Apple didn’t make it, though the auction plays up the Apple connection. The watch came out about 25 years before the first Apple Watch and about a year before the Apple Portable, the company’s first battery-powered portable computer.

But the WristMac served as a programmable wristwatch that could connect to a Macintosh. It could store phone numbers, execute one-time and recurring alarms, and take notes for export as a text file to a disk.

In 1991, NASA astronauts aboard the space shuttle “Atlantis” wore the WristMac to help them communicate with the ship’s Macintosh Portable computer and Apple Link software, through which they sent the first email from space.

Rare and hard to value

Because WristMacs today are so rare, there are no recent sales of them to indicate what might be an expected selling price. ComicConnect CEO Stephen Fishler said he expects the WristMac listing to sell for anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000, with a final selling price likely to land somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000.

“It’s an incredible find — one of the earliest examples of wearable computing technology,” said Fishler. “The WristMac has rarely been seen since its inception over 30 years ago — and it will likely be years before another one surfaces.”

This never-worn WristMac, originally sold for $50, comes with its original box and contents. It includes its dock, registration card, reference manual and WristMac 1.2 software floppy disk.

Where to bid: ComicConnect