You might recall the original TV watch from Seiko back in the early 1980s. A cool idea, yes. But the separate component system made the watch horribly impractical, and the idea suffered a quick and rightful death.

So painful was its demise, in fact, that it took more than 20 years for manufcaturers to work up the courage to give it another go.

Why now? Because the fine folks over at Sony managed to cram a VHF/UHF tuner into something the size of a Lego block. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before that technology started to work its way into mobile devices and the VTV-101 was born.

The 101 is billed as a “TV watch.” Wisely, the watch portion consists of a velcro wrist strap with a plastic housing you can snap the TV into. I say “wisely” because you will probably never wear it that way.

Sacrificing my public image in the name of science, I wore it as a watch for about an hour at the local mall. If you’re into female repellant, wearing it this way will give you better results than a wet spot on the front of your pants.

I ditched the wrist strap and chucked the unit into a pocket. That worked well, but put some light scratches on the screen. So I opted instead for the lanyard and wore the 55 gram unit inside my shirt when not in use. Separated from the watch strap, the little 45.7mm (wide) by 49.4mm (high) by 18.2mm (deep) powerhouse is actually pretty cool and functional. You will be mesmerized turning the dollhouse sized TV around in your hand. It definitely has that “I-didn’t-know-they-could-do-that” kind of feel to it.

More here.