5 of the best 80s-inspired gadgets

The decade that fashion forgot? Not for us. Rewrite history with these '80s-style gadgets

Swatch Touch


In the early '80s, analogue watches, along with lunch, were for wimps. That soon changed with the Swatch, which flew in from Switzerland in an array of gaudy colours and became so popular that wearing three at a time was socially acceptable. The Touch sees the range redone for the 'prod and slide' generation, with stylised numbers, a backlit display and touchscreen swipes to six functions including, of course, the hourly beep.

Onkyo M-5000R


Before hi-fi amps had a digital display slapped on them, they were a more manly VU meter affair. As the Straits' Brothers in Arms took you to MOR heaven, you'd slip off your Adidas Gazelles and watch those volume indicators twitch to every silky guitar solo. Luckily, Onkyo pines for such joys; and while this 80W Class A/B power amp has the requisite needle-based intrigue, it's also loaded with 21st-century tech to tame the most picky audiophile.

BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981

£1325 Porsche Design stores (not online)

If the smartphone has existed in 1987, it would have looked like this RoboCop-inspired reimagining of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. Packing a 1.2GHz processor, HD video and BlackBerry OS 7, the P'9981's sharp, angular form and blocky keypad lettering take us back to a time when curves weren't king. It's the phone Dick Jones would have used to steer ED-209 towards a Robo dust-up – once he had the right app, that is.

M2Tech Young DAC


A must-have for any '80s bedside table was a clock radio with a red LED display. This high-end DAC is clearly influenced by that style, but its aim is more laudable than just forcing you out of bed. The Young's display tells you – in big dot matrix style – what source it's currently converting from digital to analogue. It'll even work with 32bit/ 384kHz files, which is a substantial slice of futureproofing. Just don't try tuning it to Bruno Brookes.

TDK Sound Cube


In the mid-'80s, if your wardrobe-sized boombox didn't have buttons, lights and screens in double figures, sulking off home with your lino-roll was a given. TDK's Cube revives that spirit with some hi-tech magic. It can handle most devices from iThings to guitars and will pump out 20W of beats from four speakers. Plus, of course, it packs an LCD VU meter screen and two chunky rotary dials. So who's up for some toprocking?

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