UK optics and photography company J. Lancaster & Son patented a telescoping camera that fit into a pocket watch-styled casing back in 1886. Although to fit the photo gear inside, they had to ditch the timekeeping tech entirely. It may have been good for secret selfies and clandestine snapshots, but not much else. Spin the clock ahead nearly a century to the 1970s and watches with LED displays like the Hamilton Pulsar P1 and Sinclair Black Watch began to pop up on the market. They had a futuristic look and glowing numerals, but often suffered from poor battery life. During that same decade, the liquid crystal display (LCD) was also developed. It appeared in watches like the 1974 Casiotron, and converted electrical signals into digits to show both time and date on an illuminated display, and was typically more reliable in build quality than LEDs.
By the time the '80s rolled around, watches were getting significantly smarter with the addition of calculator functionality, but it wasn't long before watches like the 1984 Seiko UC-2000 and its UC-2200 keyboard peripheral allowed users to do actual computing. By 1999, Samsung seemed to find inspiration in the tech-laden detective comic Dick Tracy and introduced its SPH-WP10, a CDMA-based watch that offered wireless phone functionality in a wrist-worn form factor.
When Casio released its WQV-1 Wrist Camera, it stepped up the gimmick game. It even hedged its bets and launched more than one unique watch at CES that year. Alongside the Wrist Camera, it also showed off its MP3 watch called the WMP-1V, which had a headphone jack so users could get their groove on and tell the time.
The WQV-1 Wrist Camera captured snapshots through a lens located just above the timepiece (facing away from the wearer). Images were perhaps best viewed on its 120 x 120 display due to the low image resolution (around 0.03 megapixel). Photos could be taken using three modes: Normal, a 16-shade grayscale monochrome; Art, two-tone only; and Merge, which combined two photos into a single shot. The photos could be exported as BMP or JPEG files, but you'd need a PC running Windows, as well as Casio's proprietary infrared adapter and Link software. If you had a friend with a Wrist Camera, you could also beam photos directly to their watch. The 1MB of built-in storage could only hold about 100 images, but the monochromatic output and limited resolution likely didn't provide many "keepers."