The unworn, unknown WristMac goes up for auction today — this is no Apple Watch

Seiko Wristmac
Seiko Wristmac (Image credit: ComicConnect)

What you need to know

  • An unopened WristMac is going up for auction today.
  • The watch was programmable and could be used to communicate with a Macintosh.

While it might be nothing like the Apple Watch Series 7 that you can buy today, the WristMac might actually be even cooler. So rare that most will never have heard of it, the Apple Watch precursor is going up for auction later today and it's pretty amazing.

Built by Seiko and Ex Machina, the WristMac was released in 1988 and could connect to a Macintosh, auctioneer ComicConnect notes.

In 1988, Ex Machina, Inc. and Seiko came together to release the Wrist Mac, a programmable watch that connected to a Macintosh computer. The Wrist Mac could store telephone numbers, set alarms for both one-time use and recurring daily and weekly uses, and take notes, which could then be exported to a disk as a text file.

This watch itself comes boxed and unused, including floppy disk and cables.

This 1988 Wrist Mac comes in its original packaging and has never been sold in the over thirty years since its first release. The box advertises the revolutionary features of the watch, and contains the original sticker noting the Serial Number (70216). The box has been opened and shows little wear, retaining its original white appearance despite some stress. Inside, the box contains the original Wrist Mac Registration Card (never filled out!), the Wrist Tutorial and Reference Manual (complete with white pages and no writing inside it), the Wrist Mac 1.2 floppy disk containing the official Wrist Mac software, the Wrist Mac's holder for stability when plugged into a computer, and the original Seiko box containing the WristMac itself in pristine condition, with its original cables.

Still don't think this is cool? How about the fact that WrisMac watches were used in space back in 1991?

When the astronauts aboard the Atlantis Space Shuttle sent the first email from space on August 28, 1991, they wore WristMac watches to coordinate with the Macintosh Portable and Apple Link software aboard the shuttle.

This might just be the best Apple Watch that isn't actually an Apple Watch. While it's difficult to judge how much this will sell for given its rarity, I'm pretty confident it's going to go for a lot of money.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.