Fill in the blank: “More than his gun or any of his other detective tools, [Dick] Tracy’s has saved his life time and time again.”
Anyone who’s picked up a comics section in the last 72 years knows the answer: his iconic two-way radio wristwatch. Since the OG smartwatch debuted in the strip in 1946, it’s been keeping the sleuth both on time and on the trail — and now you can own a real, working model.
The Dick Tracy watch is a passion project of brothers Nick and Charlie Mathis, who have been interested in the timepiece since they received toy versions as kids, they write on their website.
But while those trinkets are abundant (the quote above is from a dollar-store Disney device released in 1990, the same year as the Warren Beatty-Madonna-Pacino film), the Mathis brothers have had one goal in mind: making one that actually works.
The final product is bang-on for style, with a Miyota 5R32 quartz movement and a case of 316L stainless steel manufactured by Longio Watch Company. But while you may have seen an earlier version of this watch with a non-functioning radio, they have now partnered with Elite Manufacturing to insert a “Bluetooth speakerphone module that will make and receive calls by pairing with any smartphone.”
Here it is in action:
Now, we know what you're thinking: Isn’t a comic-strip watch a little gimmicky, if not outright childish? Walk into the office with Snoopy on your wrist, for example, and people are going to come to certain conclusions.
But this Dick Tracy replica is basically a lo-fi smartwatch, and the striking rectangular design is undeniably more boardroom-ready than an Apple Watch.
While pricing isn’t released just yet, the Mathis brothers' company Ivory & Horn will be funding production through Indiegogo, and interested parties can sign up for updates.
Whether you’re a diehard Dick Tracy fan or just want something to pair with your yellow trench and fedora, be sure to keep an eye out.