TV Watch

The world's first television-watch, with an active-matrix LCD

December 1982

TV Watch

Power consumption: Approximately 520 mW with the television on
Battery life: (2 AA size dry-cell alkali batteries) approx. 5 hours continuous use
Receiver weight: Approximately 140 mg (batteries and accessories excluded)
Dimensions: (W) 74.5 x (D) 19 x (H) 125 mm
Display dimensions: TV unit -1.2-inches (H) 16.8 x (W) 25.2 mm
Watch - (H) 4.7 x (W) 25.0 mm
Display: TV unit - Field-effect guest-host liquid crystal
Watch - Field-effect nematic liquid crystal

Epson* released the world's first television-equipped watch in June 1982. The highlight of the TV Watch, as the product was known, was its display. The display was an active-matrix liquid crystal panel that was based on a panel that had originally been developed for watches, but the panel was modified to allow it to display moving images. Semiconductor technology that was being used to manufacture the company's original CMOS LSIs was combined with liquid crystal technology that the company was developing to create all the drivers and control circuits in silicon. The display had many outstanding characteristics. Not only was it highly compact, it operated at low power even while offering high resolution and good visibility in daylight.

The TV Watch was equipped with what was, at the time, the world's smallest and lightest television. The television consumed less power than any previous TV; it could be used continuously for up to five hours with two AA size dry-cell alkali batteries. The announcement of this product, which was able to receive both television and FM broadcast signals, met with high interest around the world. Marketed under the Seiko brand, the TV watch was put on the market in December 1982 and won the Nikkei Award for Superior Products & Services that year. Furthermore, it was recognized by the 1984 Guinness Book of Records as the world's smallest television.

*Then known as Suwa Seikosha Co., Ltd.