Datalink Watch

The Timex Datalink Watch arrived in 1995 as a collaboration between Microsoft and Timex. While it was a real watch, it was also an extension to Schedule Plus, the forerunner of Outlook. My wife bought this one as a Birthday present for me, but it never saw real use. The concept was fine but the limited memory capacity and small display made it more of a curiosity than a useful item.

The fascinating difference with the Datalink Watch was how it communicated with the computer - there were no cables. Instead you went into Schedule Plus and called up your appointments, then selected a menu option to ‘download’ the data to the watch, and your computer monitor (it had to be a monitor, it didn’t work with notebook screens) flashed bars of light and dark down the screen. By carefully positioning the watch about 30cm (12 inches) away from the monitor, with the watch screen facing the monitor, the watch ‘read’ the data from the screen. You didn’t even have to take the watch off your wrist.

I think Maree paid about $250 New Zealand dollars for mine, but the USD price was around $140.

(The code on the strap shown above down to 74 is ascii for “Listen To The Light” - quite clever really - but I can’t figure out the last 4 entries. Cryptologically- challenged... If you work it out, send me an email to john@YesterdaysTechnology.com)

I have no idea what the code on the left is.

While the photograph doesn’t show a display because I took the batteries out, this Datalink Watch does still work. I’ll get a copy of Schedule Plus running on something one day and get some screen shots of it in action.

I understand the first US version of the watch stored only 70 entries. A later Timex 150 stored 150 entries. Mine is the original version.

From memory, Schedule Plus used to come as part of MS Office, back when you got a BIG box and real manuals and usually 20-30 floppy disks.