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Take A Look At Apple’s First iWatch

A page from legendary industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger’s book showcases a forgotten Apple-branded “smart” watch–from the 1980s.

Take A Look At Apple’s First iWatch
[Image via Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple]

Apple still hasn’t said anything publicly about making an iWatch, although it has been beefing up its staff with designers and sensor experts who could probably build a pretty nice one. If such a device were to ever grace wrists the world over, however, it wouldn’t be Cupertino’s first stab at a mini-computer. Apparently, Apple already made one. In the ’80s.

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Swept away by the sands of time is this 12-key “smart” watch that was never formally revealed in front of the public. It doesn’t have a screen, but it does pair with a headset that, curiously, has enclosed hardware sensibilities similar to Google Glass.

It was designed in a collaboration beginning in 1982 between Steve Jobs and legendary industrial designer and Frog founder Hartmut Esslinger, whose book Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple reveals the iWatch 1.0 along with other retro-futuristic concepts and products, some of which never made it to store shelves.

It was a productive relationship, at least if history is any indication. For all this vintage iWatch seemingly lacks in functionality, at least it looks pretty sweet, informed by a sense of restraint that’s become a core part of Apple’s DNA. The feature-packed Galaxy Gears of 2014 might be able to learn a thing or two.

[h/t Apple Insider]

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About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more

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