Great Moments in Geek History: The Timex Datalink Watch

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The year was 1994. Figure skating fans all over the globe were reeling from the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident, O.J. Simpson learned the hard way that a single Ford Bronco can’t outrun every police car and helicopter in the Los Angeles area, and Timex released one of the weirdest-yet-coolest watches in the history of timepieces.

T’was the Timex Datalink, a joint effort between Timex and Microsoft. The earliest version of the watch, the Datalink 50, had enough memory to store up to 50 phone numbers or a handful of appointments and lists that would scroll across the LCD screen when called upon.

It wasn’t so much that the Datalink could store this information, but the way the information got from a Windows PC to the watch itself was truly unique.


timexthumb You’d use the Timex Datalink software to enter all your phone numbers and lists, then hold the face of the watch up to your monitor as it flashed a jumbled series of blinking white lines that magically shuttled the data from the PC to the watch.

Subsequent models followed–the Datalink 70 and Datalink 150—that could hold 70 and 150 phone numbers, respectively. I believe I paid $200 for the Datalink 150 sometime around 1997 but I could be mistaken.

Does anyone else remember these? Did anyone else have one?

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