Monday, February 22, 2010

Spotlight | Timex Watches

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Manchester, Vermont with some friends and spend the weekend skiing and enjoying small town life. Little did I know that Manchester is the home of a dozen or so designer outlet stores.

My girlfriend and I decided to stop by the Burberry outlet and check out their outerwear selection. A nice elderly sales associate, maybe 70 years old, assisted me in my search for a trench coat. While he was sifting through the outerwear racks, I noticed he was wearing a great looking watch. Black leather band and black face; simple design and very classic. On my way out, after thanking him for his help, I inquired about this watch. He smirked and proceeded to tell me how he had owned many expensive things in his lifetime; in his heyday, he'd donned $4000 and $5000 watches. Pointing to the watch, he exclaimed this was bar none the best he had ever owned. It was a Timex watch. I couldn't believe it. "Where would you recommend I go to find this watch?" I asked. He suggested Sears. Ha!

After my encounter, I did some research to learn more about this disreputable brand. Below are my findings:

The history of Timex dates back to the 1850's in Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut where Waterbury Clock manufactured clocks affordable for working class Americans. The inexpensive yet reliable shelf and mantel clocks imitated expensive imported models. In 1880, sister company Waterbury Watch manufactured the first mechanical pocket watch. It's popularity quickly spread and the "Waterbury" would soon be found in Europe, Africa and Japan.

Waterbury Shelf Clock circa 1880

By the turn of the twentieth century, the company introduced the "Yankee" pocket watch, the first sold for just one dollar. Forty million would be sold over the next 20 years making the "Yankee" the world's largest seller. Everyone carried it, from Mark Twain to miners, farmers to factory workers.

During WWI, the US Army required WC to re-tool the Yankee into a convenient new wristwatch for soldiers. After the war, returning veterans continued to wear the handy timepiece. Civilians took them up in huge numbers as well. Over the next 30 years, the brand would grow in popularity through print advertisements, commercials, spokespersons and catchy slogans. The peak in popularity occurred in the 1970's (I think) when every other watch purchased in America was a Timex and the company dominated the low-priced market.

Timex Corp. created the first Mickey Mouse watch in 1933, introduced the Ironman Triathlon® in the 80s and in 1992 was the first to offer an electroluminescent watch face (i.e. the blue-green Indiglo® night light). I can proudly say I was the owner of all three during my childhood. [For the complete company timeline, click here]

Now, after more than 150 years of technological innovation, Timex is still ticking, offering a broad and diversified product line. Perusing the Timex website, I learned that their offerings include several product classes:
Below are a few watches that caught my eye.

Mens Classic Dress • $50

Mens Dress Casual • $50

Mens Style • $65

Mens Retrograde • $90

Mens Elegant • $100

T Series Chronograph • $150

TX 300 Series Perpetual Calendar • $450

4 comments:

  1. The importance of a quality watch shouldn't be taken advantage of. The watch market is certainly vast, and with so many options, it is easy to see that some are definitely better than others. Rolex Replica

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. its such a really good-looking collection of watches. replica watches

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative article. Thanks for sharing. online watches

    ReplyDelete