On September 9, 2014, Apple announced a new line of Apple Watches, set to arrive in January 2015. But few people know that there were previous iterations of the Apple Watch in the history of the company. One of those previous iterations is deep in the archives of Entertainment Earth.
Gil Amelio, Steve Jobs’ immediate predecessor, granted a license for the production of “Apple Watches” in the late 1990s. In those days, Entertainment Earth was still developing as a company and was asked to run the website of the watchmaker who obtained the license from Apple to make the Apple Watches.
The Apple Watches came in multiple colors and styles, including a line directed at children. The Apple Watch faces featured the rainbow Apple logo, a black or white Apple logo, and adorable cartoon designs for children.
With Steve Jobs’ old adage “Think Different,” one Apple Watch even ran counter clockwise, making you ‘think differently’ about time at every glance. The “Think Different” watch was cased in black anondized aluminum with a hypo-allergenic stainless steel back. The counter clockwise rotation moves with ISA Quartz and three hands. It came with a genuine leather strap and an anodized aluminum buckle. Would you believe that this watch was water-resistant up to 99 feet?
Entertainment Earth took these Apple Watches to MacWorld SF 2000, with the early stages of Entertainment Earth’s vending booth. The booth was mobbed – everyone wanted to get one of these exciting new watches. Everyone except Steve Jobs, that is.
When Jobs stumbled upon the Apple Watches booth, he was none too pleased. The story goes that he made a scene at the booth and referred to these Apple Watches as an embarrassment. Jobs shut down the licensing deal shortly thereafter and that was the end of the Apple Watch.
These Apple Watches occasionally show up on eBay to this day. One “Think Different” watch sold in July 2014, over a decade after the Apple Watch license was canceled.
But we want to keep the history of this company alive, including the early days when Entertainment Earth offered officially licensed Apple Watches. Despite the halted production and canceled license, Entertainment Earth kept some Apple Watches as a testament to the beginning stages of the company. The product information for the limited edition Apple Watches can still be seen in our archives, but they are no longer for sale.