Rare 1988 Apple Watch predecessor 'WristMac' expected to get $25K at auction

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A never-worn "WristMac" smart watch from 1988, still in its original packaging, is expected to fetch between $25,000 and $50,000 at auction.

The WristMac was a watch made by Seiko, which used AppleTalk to connect to a Mac. First released in 1988, it's most notable use was aboard the space shuttle "Atlantis."

As reported at the time by the New York Times, in 1991, "Atlantis" famously had a Macintosh Portable aboard for sending emails. What is less known is that the astronauts each wore a WristMac that was used in ways that will be surprisingly recognizable to present-day Apple Watch owners.

"When it is time to snap photographs of a particular feature on Earth or in the cosmos," said the New York Times, "a WristMac will sound an alarm and display a two-line individual chore reminder."

Now an original, unused, even unopened WristMac is about to be auctioned by ComicConnect.com. More usually used to auctioning pop culture memorabilia, the company is taking bids on the WristMac from November 22, 2021, through to December 18th, 2021.

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

"The WristMac is so rare, it's hard to predict what it will sell for," he continued. "We couldn't find any recent confirmed sales."

Auction photograph showing the lot including WristMac
Auction photograph showing the lot including WristMac

This particular WristMac was sold for less than $50 in a Connecticut Mac warehouse's closing-down sale. The buyer never even opened the original packaging.

Bidding starts at $1 on the ComicConnect site.