Ten Bucks Buys a Sony Watchman, the iPhone of 1986

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What if you had a portable television player that could fit right in your pocket? That's right, people. The Sony Watchman: A television that goes where you go. Sure, the screen only measures 1.75" by 1.5," and it takes six AA batteries to show you a network broadcast (in black and white). But in 1986, that was a big deal!

As advertised by a pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander, owning a Watchman could make you the envy of your peers. Today, 26 years later, an original Sony Watchman will set you back ten bucks (plus shipping). This handheld personal entertainment revolution still makes the perfect stocking stuffer. Just make sure you stuff an additional stocking full of batteries.

Disclaimer: If there are no analog broadcasts in your area, the Watchman ain't gonna work. But you might get lucky. The seller of this lovingly preserved fossil claims to receive six channels—three on UHF; three on VHF. Now that's special. Does your iPhone even have UHF?