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There's something cool about wrists and devices on them. Wristwatches are cool. Wristwatches that call your special friend are even cooler.
In fiction, a bracelet is never just a bracelet and a watch never just tells time. They serve some sort of function. Sometimes, multiple functions. They unlock doors, teleport you places, and create miniature harpoons. They're the super Swiss army knife of wrist wear.
Oh, and sometimes they even tell the time.
Anime and Manga
- Light Yagami hides a piece of his Death Note inside his watch, meaning he can kill anyone at any time.
- Roger Smith uses one to summon The Big O.
- Plus, it has a grappling hook.
- And a laser. But we never see him check the time.
- Plus, it has a grappling hook.
- In Gatchaman, The Science Ninja Team needed their watches (sometimes called "bracelets" but hey, it was the seventies) to transform, plus they contained a communications device.
- The Pockets from Tower of God. Not only are they timers and watches, they also work as phones, contract forms and babel fish.
- Erio's Strada in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha comes in watch form when not in use, serving as both Transformation Trinket and communicator.
- Chao's time machine in Mahou Sensei Negima looks like a large pocket watch.
- In Detective Conan, Conan Edogawa's watch has a stun gun plus a very bright torch.
- Lupin's can contain any number of cool things, but a grappling hook is seen the most often
- Faye Valentine of Cowboy Bebop had a bracelet that controlled her Cool Starship and an anklet that controlled weighted dice.
- Giant Robo: Daisaku controls the eponymous giant robot with one.
- Youji from Weiss Kreuz hides his garrote wire inside his already cool-looking diver's watch.
- Ed's pocketwatch in Fullmetal Alchemist is a badge of rank, noting his position as a State Alchemist. These watches allegedly serve as an alchemical amplifier somehow, but this is never really shown. It is mainly used as an ID to access government resources, including a massive expense account.
- Jimmy Olsen in Superman has his Signal Watch, which tells the time and gives off a high-pitched frequency that calls up his pal Superman.
- Note that Superman finds the sound annoying, especially after Jimmy started using it every time he needed a favor.
- Dial H for Hero...which does tell time.
- Funky Koval from the eponymous Polish sci-fi comic had a watch fitted with a miniature buzzsaw he used to cut the ropes he was tied with in one of the books.
- Before That Which Shall Not Be Named, Spider-Man had given MJ a webshooter disguised as a charm-bracelet.
- The Golden Age Astro City villain the Time-Keeper used a stopwatch that stopped time for everyone except himself and his minions.
- Spy Kids II had Juni and Carmen receive special watches that did everything but tell the time. Gary and Gerti however, received ones that did tell the time.
- ...and were several times more bulky for one additional function.
- Well, Gary admits it IS a prototype.
- ...and were several times more bulky for one additional function.
- James Bond and other spies use these types of wristwatches all the time. At least for Bond, it becomes something of an Ass Pull, since it just so happens to do whatever he needs it for at that moment, be it a buzzsaw to cut ropes, a laser to cut steel, an electromagnet to fetch keys, and so on.
- Our Man Flint. Derek Flint's watch could wake him up out of suspended animation and act as a microscope.
- Undercover Brother. Smart Brother gave the title character a watch that could spritz hot sauce on white people's food to make it edible.
- In Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories, it's strongly implied that there's something interesting about Charles Beauregard's pocket watch "with the intricate crystal workings". The Undertaking refuse to let him into their HQ while carrying it, and he certainly refuses to let them look after it while he's there. Sadly, the glossary page explaining what it does has been censored by the current Diogenes chairperson.
- In The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything by John D. MacDonald, the hero inherits a gold pocket watch that stops time for everyone but the person holding it.
- The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything was homaged in Lady Slings the Booze (part of the Callahans Crosstime Saloon series) where one of the bad guys has a time stop device built into a fancy gold wristwatch. Author Spider Robinson acknowledged the Shout-Out to John D. MacDonald in the introduction.
- Also homaged (without credit) in the DuckTales episode "Time Teasers."
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Borrowed Time has a similar idea, with a twist. The people Mr Symmington and Mr Blenkinsop give their wristwatches to are literally borrowing the time, and will be expected to pay it back. With compound interest.
Live Action TV
- The teleport bracelets from Blakes Seven. Apparently they had to be regularly replaced because the cast and crew kept stealing them as presents for their kids.
- Doctor Who got there first, with the teleport-wristwatches featured in The Keys of Marinus (like Blakes Seven, written by Terry Nation). The Seventh Doctor had a pocketwatch scanner, which he used in Survival; possibly in other stories as well. The Chameleon Arch pocketwatch in "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood" and "Utopia" DEFINITELY counts as a gadget-watch. It holds the memories and Time Lord nature of a Time Lord who's going so deep cover he gives himself false memories and even reads genetically as a human or member of any other target species.
- Vortex manipulators (wriststrap teleport/time machines used by Time Agents and River) might also fall under this; one would assume a time machine can tell the time.
- Chuck has a "government issue watch" that can be used to trace him. He's also seen talking into it as a way of communication.
- In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Zordon kept in touch with the Rangers via a wristwatch-like device. It could also tap into the Command Center's teleportation system (which Billy got it to do accidentally!)
- One of Kamen Rider Double's Memory Gadgets is the Spider Shock, a wristwatch that can turn into a spider robot; it typically functions as a "smart" grappling hook, but can also be used in conjunction with Double's weapons to make "nets".
- Dick Tracy and his radio wrist watch is one of the earliest examples of this, having been conceived way back in the 1940s when actual radios still had vacuum tubes. More importantly, Tracy's has received upgraded versions with additional functions over the years to keep it up to date.
- Dragon magazine #130 had an article with 17 special watches for use in Top Secret.
- The COMP terminals from certain games in the Shin Megami Tensei series serve various functions. In all games, they contain a Demon Summoning Program used to call demons that you have contracts with. In IMAGINE Online, it also holds the Demonic Compendium and the chat program as well. Certain hacked COMPs serve as dungeons, and some special COMPs can style your hair!
- In the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney series, Matt Engarde has a bracelet that works as a cell phone, and Apollo Justice has a special one that can tell his whenever someone around is feeling a strong emotion, so he use the Perceive System to find tells in his witnesses.
- The Pipboy from Fallout 3.
- The Omni-Tool in the Mass Effect series serves this function, it is pretty much a wrist-mounted laptop/communications system that can be used to hurl tech attacks and looks like an orange-yellow glove thing. Come Mass Effect 3, you can effectively use one as a Laser Blade.
- In Absolute Obedience, the Russian spy Zhores Barsoukova appeared to have one of these. It turned out to be a completely ordinary watch, and a decoy from a less compromised spy.
- The Spy from Team Fortress 2 has three different watches, each equipped with a slightly different type of cloaking device.
- However, one of them is a pocket watch instead of a wristwatch.
- The PokéGear, introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, was a wrist-worn multi-function device (watch, map, phone, and radio). After skipping it in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, which had the hand-held but not wrist-worn PokéNav, the concept returned in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl with the appropriately-named Pokétch (Pokemon Watch) in the main series and a new PokéGear for the Gen 2 remakes.
- In Secret Agent Barbie, a watch is used by Barbie to communicate with her friends back at base while she’s on a mission. When it’s not being used in this way, it functions as a minimap/GPS type thing.
- El Goonish Shive has walkie talkie watches. Not much compared to a cellphone or a real walkie-talkie, but it's fun, convenient (though less so than a headset) and concealed.
- Bob from Re Boot has Glitch, which literally does anything he wants it to do, even if he doesn't know the exact tool he needs.
- There's a subversion on an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures: Plucky is showing off all his Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs merchandise, including a "Two-Way Wrist Slug."
Hamton: What does it do?
Plucky: Nothing! But it only costs $29.95!
- Ben 10's, which actually Lampshaded the fact the Omnitrix doesn't tell time.
- The Tracy Brothers in Thunderbirds communicated with each other using these.
- Brock, Rusty, and the eponymous brothers in The Venture Brothers have watches that act as video communicators, as well as contain GPS trackers so they can find each other. Rusty's bother JJ uses a device concealed in his collar instead, pointing out that watches are impractical, since in the event of being captured, the villain will almost certainly bind your hands.
- Inspector Gadget's entire hand functions as a gadget watch (among other things). His niece Penny has a more standard Videophone/ Remote watch, however.
- Parodied in Sheep in The Big City when Sheep is recruited by a spy organization and receives a watch...that can tell the date. When the enemy Mooks look at it, they scream "He has a watch that tells the date! ABORT MISSION!" and start evacuating en masse before the Angry Scientist shows up and says it isn't dangerous.
- Scrooge's nephews had one (and caused predictable chaos with it, and allowed villains to steal it, etc.) in the DuckTales episode "Time Teasers".
- Clue Club's wristwatches have a pager function.
- Real spies used at least two different models of gadget watches: one was a pretty obvious photographic camera, the other had a hidden microphone designed to be used with an external recording device.
- Viktor Suvorov described how during his training he used a watch with a microphone. Apparently, using it during a dinner was a mistake - all the clinking of the cutlery made the speech difficult to hear.
- There are GPS watches, cellphone watches, MP4 player watches and hidden camera watches available commercially - and unsurprisingly, they're all made in China. And they even tell time, go figure.
- Jawbone has created a bracelet that doesn't look half bad but is also equipped with sensors that transmit your vitals to your iPod Touch or iPhone in order to help you lose weight.