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What is a Walkie Talkie Watch?

By Licia Morrow
Updated May 16, 2024
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A walkie talkie watch is a radio wristband that runs on either an FRS (Family Radio Service) or GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequency and generally provides a communication range of about one mile (about 1.6 kilometers), depending upon environment and terrain. To create this product, manufacturers attach a walkie talkie unit to a strap, producing a two-way radio that can be worn on the wrist. Just like a hand-held transceiver, a walkie talkie watch has a transmitter for sending out radio signals as well as a receiver that accepts signals. Walkie talkie watches operate on frequencies or channels that exist through the transmission of electromagnetic waves, which are created through electrical impulses or signals.

A typical walkie talkie watch is made up of a microphone, transmitter, circuit, receiver, speaker, and battery. Sounds enter via the microphone and are turned into electrical impulses, the transmitter sends the sounds as radio signals. The circuit — a coil and capacitor, chip, or crystal — maintains that both listener and speaker are on the same frequency. The receiver captures the signals and the speaker transfers the electrical signals into sounds and amplifies them so they can be heard.

Besides batteries, walkie talkie watch products generally utilize additional accessories such as earpieces and battery chargers. Models are available that suit adults as well as children, and they are intended for use on household properties, excursions, or public outings. They are not intended for long range use.

Many walkie talkie watch models are available that utilize both FRS and GMRS frequencies, and it is important to understand the difference between the two. The Family Radio Service (FRS) frequency is part of Citizen Band (CB) Radio Services, which, in the United States, provides 40 private channels for use on a first come, first served basis. Use of a walkie talkie watch under this frequency requires no license and may occur in any area where the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) manages radio signals.

The requirements for using a walkie talkie watch under the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) are a bit more stringent because these radios operate at a higher wattage, usually between one and five watts. Individuals planning to use the radios under the GMRS frequency must apply for a license, usually valid for five years, in any area where the FCC maintains communications.

To ensure compliance with FCC regulations, specific manufacturer details can usually be found in the watch instruction manual.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SarahSon — On Dec 17, 2011

I have twin boys, and they absolutely love their walkie talkie wrist watches. They aren't old enough to have their own cell phones, but there have been many times when the walkie talkies have come in handy.

It is much more convenient to wear this on your wrist than to worry about carrying the walkie talkie in your hand everywhere you go.

They use these to communicate with each other when they are playing at home, and when we go someplace like the mall or park.

They look sophisticated and grown up enough that they don't feel like they are little boy toys. I see them as both practical and fun for them at the same time.

By julies — On Dec 17, 2011

@whiteplane - We like to use wrist watch walkie talkies when we go skiing. For us, this was the perfect solution for keeping in touch on the slopes.

Many times there is no cell phone reception in the areas where we are skiing. Having the ability to communicate without taking off your gloves and digging your cell phone out of your pocket was another advantage.

This way we don't even worry about taking our cell phones with us when we ski. We are able to keep track of the time and our family with the walkie talkie watches.

We have one for each person in our family, and our kids love to use them too. We have also used them when we go hiking in the mountains.

We are so used to having cell phone reception wherever we go, but when we go to the mountains every year, we go for a week without any kind of reception for our cell phones.

This is when something like this really comes in handy.

By whiteplane — On Dec 16, 2011

A walkie watch watch sounds kind of cool but I don't know when I would ever end up using it. In fact it seems like it is moving in the wrong direction. Fewer people than ever wear watches because most people carry a cell phone with a clock that keeps perfect time. So instead of putting walkie talkies in watches, we put clocks in walkie talkies.

I have to imagine that a walkie talkie watch would be pretty big and cumbersome. I also wonder how the batteries work. Surely the talkie feature would drain a normal watch battery.

By backdraft — On Dec 16, 2011

Hearing about a walkie talkie watch make me think of the old Dick Tracy comic strip. He had a watch that he could talk in to in order to communicate with the police back at headquarters.

At the time the comic strip was made this kind of technology would have been impossible but the Dick Tracy comics were not set in a completely real world. There were lots of different futuristic touches and it is kind of funny to look back at the way people 70 years ago thought that technology would work in the future. It's kind of like the Jetsons, fun to think about but probably not at all realistic.

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