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The initial model was introduced in 1982 as the FD-210, which had a grayscale five centimeter display. The device weighed around 650 grams, with a measurement of 87 x 198 x 33 millimeters. The device was sold in Japan with a price of 54,800 yen. Roughly two years later, in 1984, the device was introduced to Europe and North America.
Sony manufactured more than 65 models of the Watchman before its discontinuation in 2000. Upon the release of further models after the FD-210, the display size increased, and new features were introduced. The FD-3, introduced in 1987, had a built-in digital clock. The FD-30, introduced in 1984 had a built-in AM/FM Stereo radio. The FD-40/42/44/45 were among the largest Watchmans, utilizing a 4" CRT display. The FD-40 introduced a single composite A/V input. The FD-45, introduced in 1986, was water-resistant. In 1988/1989, the FDL 330S color Watchman TV/Monitor with LCD display was introduced. In 1990, the FDL-310, a Watchman with a color LCD display was introduced. The FD-280/285, made from 1990 to 1994, was the last Watchman to use a black and white CRT display. One of the last Watchmans was the FDL-22 introduced in 1998, which featured an ergonomic body which made it easier to hold, and introduced Sony's Straptenna, where the wrist strap served as the antenna.
Due to the switch of over-the-air television to digital, most models of the Sony Watchman in the US have lost their usefulness, because they now require to be connected to a digital converter box. Because of this, the Sony Watchman, especially the older CRT-based models, are becoming increasingly popular as collector's items.
Marketing and media
A model of Watchman is shown many times in the movie Rain Man.
- Reverse Time Page
- The Short History of Pocket TV
- Vintage Micro Television http://www.visions4.net/journal/time-line/