The Timex Group USA, Inc., is headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut, USA with affiliate offices located
throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. For over 150 years, TIMEX has been providing innovative, well-designed, affordable, and reliable timepieces. With hundreds of styles among its Fashion, Sports, Outdoor and Youth
lines, Timex is the largest selling watch brand in America and has sold more than one-billion watches worldwide. While every Timex produced since then has retained the virtues of those early watches, in the intervening 150 years, the company has introduced a steady stream of technological advancements.
Here is a list of major milestones in the life of the Timex brand.
1850s-1870s: Waterbury Clock made timekeeping affordable for working class Americans. Its inexpensive
yet reliable shelf and mantel clocks, with cases designed to imitate expensive imported models, contained
simple, mass-produced stamped brass movements. Waterbury Clock's products grew out of a long tradition
of innovative clockmaking that developed in Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley, known during the 19th
century as the "Switzerland of America."
1880s: Waterbury Watch, a sister company, manufactured the first inexpensive mechanical pocket watch in
1880 and quickly sold more than any other firm in the world. The "Waterbury," known for its extraordinarily
long, nine-foot mainspring, was assembled by a predominantly female workforce whose dexterous fingers
were prized for the close and exacting work. Waterbury pocket watches sold throughout North America and
Europe, and could be found in Africa, where they were presented as gifts to native chieftains, and as far
away as Japan.
1900s: By the turn of the twentieth century, the watch industry's first and most successful mass marketer, Robert H. Ingersoll, worked with Waterbury Clock to distribute the company's "Yankee" pocket watch,
the first to cost just one dollar. Twenty years later, with nearly forty million sold, the "Yankee" became the world's largest seller and "the watch that
made the dollar famous." Everyone carried the Yankee: from Mark
Twain to miners, from farmers to factory workers, from office clerks to sales clerks.
1917: During World War I, the U.S. Army required Waterbury Clock to re-tool the Yankee pocket watch into
a convenient new "wristwatch" for soldiers; after the war, returning veterans continued to wear the handy
timepiece, and civilians took them up in huge numbers during the 1920s.
1930s: The popularity of a brand new cartoon character led Waterbury Clock to produce the very first
Mickey Mouse clocks and watches in 1933, under an exclusive license from Walt Disney. Despite the
deep shadow cast by the Great Depression, within just a few years, parents bought two million Mickey
Mouse watches for their children. Originally priced at $1.50, these same watches are collector's items that
today command higher and higher prices.
1940s: During World War II, the newly renamed U.S. Time Company completely converted its factories to
wartime manufacturing. Over the course of the war, it turned an eighty-four year tradition of reliable
mechanical timekeeping to the record-breaking production of more high-quality mechanically-timed artillery
and anti-aircraft fuses than any other Allied source.
1950s: U.S. Time's wartime expertise in research and development and advanced mass production
techniques led to the creation of the world's first inexpensive yet utterly reliable mechanical watch
movement. The new wristwatch, called the Timex, debuted in 1950. Print advertisements featured the new
watch frozen in an ice cube tray, spun for seven days in a vacuum cleaner, taped to a giant lobster's claw, or
wrapped around a turtle in a tank. Despite these and other extensive live torture tests, the Timex kept
ticking. The plucky watch that "takes a licking and keeps on ticking®" quickly caught the American
imagination. By the end of the 1950s, one out of every three watches bought in the U.S. was a Timex.
1960s: The Timex brand name became a household word during the 1960s. Having completely conquered
the low-priced market, the company upgraded and diversified its product line. It introduced the "Cavatina,"
its first women's brand in 1959 and with it, a revolutionary merchandising concept: the watch as an impulse
item. For the price of one expensive watch, women could buy several Timex watches to match different
occasions or ensembles.
1970s: By the mid-1970s, the renamed Timex Corporation had sold more than 500 million of these
mechanical movements. At this time, every other watch bought in the U.S. was a Timex, and the brand
retailed in two hundred and fifty thousand different outlets.
1980s: Alone among all domestic watchmakers, only Timex survived the brutal 1970s watch industry shakeout caused by new digital watch technology and fierce price competition from the Far East. Having gradually phased out mechanical watch production in favor of digital \watches, in 1986 Timex introduced its "Ironman Triathlon®," jointly
devised by serious athletes and industrial designers. Within a year, the "Ironman Triathlon®" became America's best-selling watch and, diversifying into a full line for men and women, became the world's largest selling sports watch, a distinction it has held throughout the 1990s.
1990s and Beyond: In the 1990s, a nearly 150 year-old Timex vigorously pursues its long tradition of
technological innovation and market leadership. The company introduced the industry's first
electroluminescent watch face in 1992, when the blue-green Indiglo® night light appeared on some of its
digital and analog watches. The All-Day Indiglo® display, using a hologram-like material, provides greater
contrast between digital numbers and the display background.
In 1994, Timex introduced the Data Link® watch, a sophisticated wrist instrument that carries scheduling,
phone numbers, and other personal information, having collaborated with Microsoft to create the necessary
software to communicate the data from computer to watch. In 1998, Timex pioneered its i-Control™ turn n
pull analog alarm watch and, in a joint venture with Motorola, a new wrist pager called Beepwear®