OK - Who just paid $987 for an HP-70?


OK - Fess up. Did someone here just pay a record $987 for an HP-70? It's in very nice condition, for sure, but far from perfect. Silver trim completely worn on top, rear label clealy disturbed on one corner. No manual, no box, no ac adapter.


This whole collectability thing confounds me.


I admit I had it in my watch list, but that was it. I was just watching.



Gulp, er, NOT ME.

I still don't have one but yikes. I hope it was still shrink wrapped!


Who just paid $987 for an HP-70?

Someone who wanted it badly and had the money. As simple as that.

I for one can't stop wandering how people are wandering about that



Awfully tempting to put my better condition HP-70 up for sale! Nah, I'm keeping it!


See? That's exactly what I'm talking about ;)

Then really, what's $1000 these days? Not much. I remember when I bought my first HP-41CV + X-Functions + X-Memory + Surveying modules, it was a fortune I spent. I'd gladly pay 5 times that today (brand new in boxes with that specific smell I'll never forget) if it was available.


A thousand dollars is still a large amount of money to me!


Reth, I understand what you are saying. I paid $395 in 1972 for my HP-35 V2, which would be about $2000 today. That was 2 weeks takehome pay for me back then. You can easily find a very clean complete set today for under $500. Even the HP-70 which sold for $275 in 1975 would be nearly $1100 today. But all consumer electronics have come down dramatically in price since those days, so the sale price of these antiques is totally unrelated to their inflated original prices. I see the value of these calculators in terms of their uniqueness and the milestones that they represent and not in terms of their simple rarity. Other than the unique color scheme, there is nothing special to me in the HP-70. It was not the first to introduce some new technology; its only real claim to fame is that the run was short, so the supply is scarce. I am not one of those collectors who just must have a "complete" collection at any cost. You might have noticed that another HP-70 has shown up on TAS, and perhaps the floodgates will open as other people decide that now is the time to cash in their gold while the price is high.


Michael, I get your point too. I wouldn't pay even a dollar for the HP-70, it does nothing for me. Apparently though it does for the guy who paid $987 and there is where difference lays. As time goes by people can afford more and pay big money for things based on sentimental value rather than anything else. Someone actually made this point here some time back - possible scenario - it was the first calc in the beginning of someone's successful career or something he/she couldn't afford back then...



I bid 4 times on this item, and was the runner up with $977. Guess I didn't quite want it as bad as the other person! Cheers, Keith


I probably should follow up on reasons (for me, not the winning bidder), which seems to have people a little intrigued ... for me it's about completing a collection - the 70 is one of the few that I don't have, so prepared to pay a little more than earlier in my collecting, when stuff is easy to get hold of. Cheers, Keith

Edited: 11 Apr 2010, 1:46 a.m.


Thanks a lot, Keith, it's a small world after all :)



Keith is correct,

completion of a collection is a powerful urge. I know I want one but at the moment 1000 can be useful somewhere else.

I don't think it is "wondering why" as much as "wow, some one wants one for so much".

Cheers, Geoff



completion of a collection is a powerful urge.

Certainly. But then, a "complete collection" is an impossible thing to achieve. No matter what one collects. And once one accepts that as a fact, the urge or pressure to "complete" the collection is greatly relieved. To me, it does not matter much if I am one piece or two pieces or ten pieces short of the ideal "complete collection". Therefore, the value of an individual item does not change depending on the rest of my collection. Makes life easier (and cheaper!) if you can see it that way :-)

Regards, max

Edited: 11 Apr 2010, 12:49 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Certainly. But then, a "complete collection" is an impossible thing to achieve. No matter what one collects. And once one accepts that as a fact, the urge or pressure to "complete" the collection is greatly relieved.

True, a collection should never be considered "complete", but half the fun is growing and changing a collection as you go. I have more than 120 HP's (and about 50 Sharp pocket computers - sorry!), and I get a kick out of buying and selling stuff as my collection matures.
when I say "complete" a part of the collection, I mean that the HP-70 completes the 'Classic' series of my collection, where I have 3xHP35's, 2xHP45's, 1xHP55, 2xHP65's, 2xHP67's (including a prototype - ignoring the fact that the 67 isn't technically a Classic), and 1xHP80. Part of completing the collection is getting the boxes, manuals, cards, etc.
I'm sure I will keep going, but hey it's a lot of fun!
Cheers, Keith



... but hey it's a lot of fun!

It certainly is. But for me, part of the fun comes from "finding" my calculators at bargain prices. I don't think that I paid $987 for all my 75 (+/- 1 or 2) Hp calculators together. And for me too, the HP-70 is the only classic still missing (and the 27 the only second-generation one). But paying as much for one calculator than for all the others together? Certainly not.

Regards, max

NB: I just received a Novus Mathematician PR in the mail, a very rare RPN programmable calculator (here in Europe at least, actually the first one I ever saw advertised). The Batteries still hold their charge. With pouch and reference cards only 24 Euros. Much more fun than buying an HP-70 for 1000 Euros!


That's a typical German attitude: It must be a bargain otherwise I'm not happy. That's why they got all these discounters like Aldi, Lidl, ... ;-)

Sorry, Maximillian, I couldn't resist, don't take me to seriously! I also got an NIB unused 11C for $40, and I still tell the story how I got it. On the other hand, I once bought an expensive calculator because I knew that such an opportunity would never return. I'm excited about both, the cheap and the expensive one.

- Juergen


I'm with Juergen, I love getting a bargain as well as paying top dollar. Some of my bargains include a 45 for $5 (last week!), mint boxed 28S for $10 (not on TAS), and a dusty box of about 7 HP's for $50 that included a mint 11C, fair condition 28S, very good condition 19Bii, a good condition 20S, and a few others. I also picked up a 42S for $85 last year.
The most i've ever paid is US$900 for an HP.
I also enjoy selling stuff as well - cleaning up bargain finds, and selling off for others to enjoy.
Cheers, Keith


I bought an HP-15C on the auction site for $44. Came last Friday. Scratched up bezel, and obliterated back label and no feet. But it works perfectly. I printed a replacement back on my laser printer (on plastic paper) from a MoHPC image (Thanks Dave!), glued it on, replaced the feet... and I have a pretty decent looking, "Kick Around" 15C. The one I have on display is much too clean to be throwing it in a briefcase, etc. Nice price for a very useable machine!!



That's a typical German attitude: It must be a bargain otherwise I'm not happy.

Not attitude, but necessity, now that the Swiss have sold our bank account information to the tax office ;-)

But to rehabilitate my fellow countrymen: I must confess that I too have once paid a four-figure amount for a watch manufactured by HP (however immediately compensated by buying a very smart Omega watch on the bazar in Istanbul).

Greetings, Max


Not attitude, but necessity, now that the Swiss have sold our bank account information to the tax office ;-)

LOL! That's a good cause, now I understand ...


Reth, I second you. That's about what I mentioned in a previous thread. Why worry about prices other people pay (for whatever items, not only calcs) at all? The only reason I can figure out is that this lowers the chance that I can get one at a reasonable price. That's why I haven't got a Van Gogh: there are many other people willing to pay MUCH more than I. I have to accept this fact, period.


That's why I haven't got a Van Gogh: there are many other people willing to pay MUCH more than I

Not just willing, but ABLE!! I might be willing to pay $5e6 for a Van Gogh but I can't unless I have 6 or 8 megabucks lying around - which I don't!


Given all this discussion on who can afford what, and how much some people are prepared to pay for HP stuff, I'm interested to know what the highest known price is for an HP calculator (not counting the HP01 watch)? Is this humble HP70 in the running, or has there been anything higher?
Cheers, Keith


There were NIB 41CX coming from somewhere in England I think, about 4 years ago that fetched huge prices. I think they may have topped it, but not by much.

15C will go for $500 from time to time.


I seem to recall that several years back on TAS a Japanese buyer paid $995 for an HP-65 that was a complete working set in excellent condition. Although I have never paid close to that for my 4 HP-65's (I have since sold one), I find that somewhat justifiable in that the HP-65 represents a milestone in calculator history, being the first pocket calculator of any brand with a card reader. Also, many US auctions are not open to foreign bidders. The most I ever paid for an HP calculator was for my HP-35 Red Dot, and it was considerably less than $987. I must say, though, that I might be willing to pay that much for something truly rare and exceptional, such as an HP-95C, provided it was complete. But, like most of the rest of you, I will spend my life just watching HP-70's sell for high prices to people willing and able to pay. Oh, and going to museums to see Van Gogh's.

Edited: 12 Apr 2010, 7:24 p.m.


Anyone else here remember joe_oil? This particular link is a discussion over a $1500 67. Search archive 9 (give or take) for others.

Edited: 12 Apr 2010, 1:16 p.m.


I saw an HP-41CY (a 41CX with internal 64K RAMBOX) for about $2000. NIB 15Cs also go for high prices ...


Hm. Maybe I shouldn't have given my HP-70 away as a raffle prize at the San Jose meeting in 2006...


Hi, all;

you should see this. Yeah, I know... A brain f..t, I´d guess. Mistyped bid, mostly. But anyway, R$8,350.00 for an HP12C (about US$4,000.00) is beyond anything else...


(added the next day) As expected, the auction will be suspended till the buyer has her R$8,350.00 bid removed in order to allow the auction to conclude accordingly.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 13 Apr 2010, 9:50 a.m.

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