Was there a wristwatch that you could watch TV on in the late 80s?

In American Psycho, Pat Bateman talks about how he is supposedly wearing a wristwatch with a 3-inch TV screen that can pick up television signals. Did such a thing actually exist back then? I vaguely remember reading about things like that as a kid in like 1993 or 94 in pop-science magazines, but never actually saw one in person. (I also remember Sony making a version of the Walkman called the “Watchman” that you could watch TV on.) So, did this device actually exist in the 80s?

Maybe this Seiko?

I remember seeing this! Hang on!


I can’t believe you reminded me of these. I used to want one.

Didn’t Casio make one?

The problem with all of them was that they had a cable running up your arm to a pack with the rest of the electronics. Technically, it is probably more possible to create a true wristwatch TV today, but people seem happier watching TV on a phone.

Looking at the links, it’s clear that later models were free of the cable. But who wants to watch a 1.5" TV?

I wanted a hand-held TV so badly as a child that I had recurring dreams about it. This was in the 70s; no such thing existed at the time. In my dreams it looked like a walkie-talkie (remember those?), with the same big ol’ telescoping antenna and a CRT screen where the speaker would be. I would wake up from these dreams crushed that my hand-held TV wasn’t real, and in fact would try to put off waking up for as long as I could, hoping that somehow, this time, it wasn’t a dream.

This is embarrassing now, both because I was obviously so emotionally invested in a material object, and also because that material object was, come on, a TV? It would be much less embarrassing if I’d had recurring dreams about having my very own unicorn, or a magical girlfriend who could turn into a tornado or something.

The other day I realized my video iPod (not even a Touch, it’s 3rd Gen) was pretty much the item I’d dreamed about, only much smaller and much higher quality. I have to say that I received no particular thrill from this insight. C’est la vie.

I had one of these once upon a time. You may proceed to be jealous now.

I had one too . . . for about a week, till it was stolen.

Not to mention the 2 mile long cord you needed to keep this plugged into your cable TV outlet. Or, the backpack with the satellite TV antenna.

And after all of that, there still wasn’t any thing good on.

Don’t feel too bad. I used to constantly dream about how cool it would be to have my own computer, or even a whole bunch of computers.

I have them now, piles of computers all around me. It’s nowhere near as cool as I thought it would be.

As for cool, I have an iPod Touch and a Slingbox with the Slingplayer software so I can control and watch my ReplayTV from anywhere I can get Wi-Fi. That is, indeed, very cool. I have my own TV station.

Tom Hanks had one of these in the 1984 movie Dragnet.

As for cool, there is also Sony’s Location-Free TV. It converts my cable connection into a Wi-Fi signal which I can watch on my computer or Playstation Portable. I can even control the DVR functions and watch On-Demand programming.