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Personal Computer Influence on Smartwatches (1980s)

Casio C-80 makes Calculator Wristwatches Affordable (1980)
The calculator wristwatch became affordable and desirable in 1980 for the mainstream market after the Casio C-80 calculator wristwatch was released. It had a plastic case and sold for $75.00 ($250.00 in 2015 dollars). What made it so appealing (other than its price) was the fact that it had buttons big enough to push without using a stylus or a pen.

Personal Computer Influence on Smartwatches (1980s)

During the early 1980s calculator wristwatches became affordable and were marketed into the mainstream of society. Personal computers were introduced into the mainstream and watch developers started using computer technology to design wrist computers. Watching television became possible via a wrist TV watch. The “computer fever” of the 1980s enabled watch company innovators such as Seiko and Casio to release various product lines of Smartwatches with computer technology functionality.

Casio Game-10 – Animated Game Wristwatch (1980)
Video game fever of early 1980s prompted the Casio Game-10 Smartwatch to be developed. It was released in 1980. It played a 3 line miniature interpretation of the popular Space Invaders video game using push buttons on the side of the case as game controllers. It also included a chronograph and alarm just in case a user wanted to know what time it was in between gaming sessions.

Seiko Data-2000 Wristwatch – Wireless Docking Station (1983)
In 1983, the Seiko Data-2000 watch was released and featured an external keyboard that was synched to the watch with an electro-magnetic coupling (wireless docking station.) It features time and calendar, alarm, stopwatch, dual-memo display (which has a display capacity of 2000 characters), calculator and hourly time signal functionality.

Seiko TV-Watch (1982)
The Seiko TV-Watch (model T001-5000) was released in 1982 and included an earphone, antenna and a low-contrast LCD display. The Guiness Book of World Records (1984 edition) listed it as the “smallest TV set in the world”. It was featured in several movies, most notably the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy, which pushed its prices high and made it an instant sought-after Smartwatch collectible.

Seiko RC-1000 Wrist Terminal – Compatible with Desktop Computers (1984)
In 1984, Smartwatches gained the capability of interfacing with computers. The Seiko RC-1000 Wrist Terminal was compatible with most of the traditional desktop computers of its time including models by Apple, Commodore, IBM, NEC, Tandy and the TRS-80. A cable connected the watch to the computer for basic data transfers. The device included a floppy disc with the interfacing software and had 2 kilobytes of random access-memory (RAM).

Seiko Epson RC-20 Wrist Computer - Runs Apps (1985)
The first true stand-alone computer Smartwatch was the Seiko Epson RC-20 Wrist Computer that was released in 1985. It is equipped with a powerful microprocessor with 8K of read-only memory (ROM) and 2K of RAM. It has no buttons as all functions are accessed via a touch-screen. This watch can perform as a scheduling device, store memos, display world times and it includes a four-function calculator. Computer programs can be uploaded and run on the watch using software and a data cable. It is essentially the first Smartwatch that could run apps. It could also be programmed but its capabilities were limited due to its small display screen and limited memory storage.

On-Line Articles about the Casio C-80 Watch

Casio C-80; the original  Smartwatch - Punch Kick Interactive

Top 15 classic calculator watches: 1980 First Casio Calculator Watch C-80 - OObject

On-Line Articles about the Casio Game-10 Watch

Casio GM-10 [165] Game Watch - Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

Casio vintage Game-10 Watch from 1980 - Retro Classic Watches

On-Line Articles about the Seiko TV-Watch

Seiko TV Watch - the Computer Museum

The Seiko TV Watch - High Techies

On-Line Articles about the Seiko Data-2000 Watch

The 1983 Seiko Computer Watch – The Data 2000 - Retroist

Vintage/Rare SEIKO Digital LCD Watches 2 - Rare Digital Watches

On-Line Articles about the Seiko RC-1000 Wrist Terminal Watch

Seiko RC-1000 - Synack

Seiko RC-100 Wrist Terminal - Popular Science - Oct. 1985 - Page 36

On-Line Articles about the Seiko Epson RC-20 Wrist Computer

It’s About Time: The Computer on Your Wrist - Computer History Museum

Seiko RC-20 - Retro Thing

Casio C-80

Casio Game-10

Seiko Data-2000

Index of Selected Smartwatches Released during the 1980s
(This list is a ‘selection’ and does not include all 1980 - 1989 Smartwatches)

Seiko Epson RC-20 Wrist Computer

Seiko RC-1000 Wrist Terminal

Seiko TV-Watch