Timex INDIGLO®, the Fairfield Supernova™ and a Legacy of Innovation

timex fairfield supernova

This month Timex presents the Fairfield Supernova™, a celestially sleek and innovative timepiece that takes the Fairfield collection to the next level.

The Fairfield Supernova™ watch features a new INDIGLO® perforated laser-cut backlight dial to create a watch that suits modern lifestyles. The Fairfield Supernova™ is the latest incarnation of Timex’s commitment to innovation in watchmaking.

The Fairfield Supernova has landed
INDIGLO® Night-Lights gave watches additional much-needed functionality that struck a chord with consumers and which has become a mainstay in the contemporary watch market.

The Fairfield Supernova™ is a new way to experience Timex’s INDIGLO® Night-Light technology. The Fairfield Supernova™ is cut from metal and shaped by light, crafted using precision laser-cutting techniques on a thin layer of metal. This perforated layer of metal is then placed on top of the dial to allow for the light to pass through, creating a dazzling and contemporary way to illuminate the time. The laser-cut backlight INDIGLO® dial complements the perforated leather strap for a streamlined aesthetic. And with a date display and chronograph function with 4-hour capacity, the appeal of this watch is all in the details.

The Timex Fairfield collection is known for its thoughtfully designed timepieces and sleek, minimalist style that is a reliable accessory for your modern lifestyle. Now, with its updated functionality, the Fairfield Supernova™ expands the Fairfield universe of timepieces by giving watch wearers a new way to enjoy INDIGLO® Night-Light technology.

Backlit watches may seem standard today, but, inspired by its legacy of giving consumers timepieces with functionality and style, Timex continues to innovate with its new Fairfield Supernova™ technology.

INDIGLO®: A luminous history
Backlights seem like a standard feature on watches today, but this wasn’t always the case. Until the early ’90s, there was no easy way to read a watch in the dark.

Timex presented a solution to this frustrating problem with its INDIGLO® night-light feature. The invention was the next in a sequence of thoughtful, innovative watch features designed by Timex to respond to changing consumer needs.

“Backlights seem like a standard feature on watches today, but this wasn’t always the case.”

Following the successful release of the Timex® Ironman® Triathlon® watch, which became the best-selling watch in America within a year of its release, the company began exploring other innovations that could target gaps in the market. While efficient timekeeping and water-resistance were two main areas Timex developed, it felt that night-lights were a new functional feature for which consumers were searching.

Timex researchers had been experimenting with electroluminescent technology in different consumer applications and decided to try out the technology in timepieces. In 1993, Timex released a series of digital and analog watches with a new INDIGLO® night-light feature. The dials of these INDIGLO® watches were covered with a thin paper film which acted as a light bulb when lit up via battery power.

Timex’s hunch was right — the INDIGLO® night-light was a major success.

Fashionable Practicality: Timex and the History of Women’s Watches


In the 19th century, while men furrowed their brows at the idea of strapping a small clock to their wrists instead of keeping one in their pockets, trailblazing women were going full speed ahead into the future. The history of women’s watches is a remarkable story of royalty, athleticism, art, and independence – one that sees the pendulum swing from fashionable excess to straightforward utilitarianism and settles at a perfectly balanced point in the middle.

While postwar designers and artists were exploring new, freer ways of living, Timex was disrupting the watch market with fashionable yet practical designs for women from all walks of life.

“Timex disrupted the watch market with fashionable yet practical designs for women.”

Royal origins 
Pocket watches were the go-to way of telling time in the 1800s and were used largely by businessmen. In 1810, however, Caroline Murat, the Queen of Naples and sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, had Abraham-Louis Breguet handcraft her an ornate, elegant bracelet inlaid with a small clock. Her decadent accessory is today regarded as the first wristwatch in history.

The trend caught on among royal circles, with high society women coveting sophisticated “bracelet watches” for their wrists, including Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. These watches were not very mechanically accurate but were aesthetically pleasing. Wristwatches were largely seen as a women’s accessory, but ensuing global conflict would cause that to change.

War and timepiece
As global war rocked the beginning of the 20th century, generals searched for new ways to enhance military efficiency. One of their methods was having soldiers use wristwatches instead of pocket watches, with it being far simpler and faster for soldiers to check the time on their wrists than dig into their fatigues.

In 1918, Timex converted a women’s pocket watch into its first wristwatch by adding strap lugs and rotating the face to put the crown at 3 o’clock rather than 12 o’clock. This model was the first wristwatch issued by the U.S. military.

While it would still be a few decades before everyday men warmed up to the idea of wearing such a “female” accessory in the street, the women’s watch market was expanding. Swiss designers started introducing gem-adorned watches that they marketed as must-have jewelry.

A practical approach
Soon, however, watches were no longer about jewel count – they were increasingly about practicality. Perhaps the most famous female watch-wearer of the Roaring ’20s was the bold and courageous Mercedes Gleitze, who swam the English Channel wearing a weatherproof watch on her wrist. A photograph of her wading through cold ocean waters surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd spread around the world, giving watches a new sporty and independent reputation.

We now arrive at a point where women’s watches tended toward two extremes – as either an expensive item of jewelry or a strictly utilitarian piece. But as the middle of the century approached, and women’s liberation movements were picking up steam, why couldn’t the mid-century modern woman have a wristwatch that served both functions?

“By the 1950s, all women could have a great-looking, high-quality watch of their own.”

A disruption in the market
The watchmakers at Timex saw a gap in the market for creating watches that were both fashionable and practical as well as accessible to the everyday woman. Timex turned heads with timepieces that were stylish, durable, and built with accurate mechanics.

By the 1950s, all women could have a great-looking, high-quality watch of their own. The postwar era, with its newfound sense of freedom shaped by experimental artists such as Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, saw society as a whole adopt an unrestrained understanding of time. And it’s no coincidence that this shift in attitude was happening just as the wristwatch was becoming mainstream. Society was exerting a new type of control over the passing minutes and hours.

With its smaller movements, Timex began manufacturing slim women’s watches for the first time. These timepieces boasted an elegant style but also the famous Timex durability. In a market of luxury Swiss imports, the lower price point of Timex watches meant that a woman could own several timepieces to accessorize different outfits and occasions for the price of one “jewel” watch. Timex watches were also popular “milestone” gifts for women graduating college and starting careers.

And in 1984, Timex invented the sports watch with the Timex Triathlon. The company released the original men’s and women’s models at the same time, and the innovative timepiece was used by female athletes with the same adventurous drive and fearless spirit as Mercedes Gleitze.

Since then, Timex’s accessible women’s watches have continued to see success, with watches that offer women fashionable and dependable timepieces.

Field Brief: The New Timex X Nigel Cabourn Military-Inspired NAM Watch

“It was a moonless night in No Man’s Land. A man in khaki stood silently waiting in a frontline trench. In the darkness, his eyes were drawn, fascinated, to the luminous figures on the watch dial at his wrist… ”

So says the 1919 book “Time Telling Through the Ages,” a history of the Ingersoll Watch Company, as it paints a scene from World War I. The predecessors of Timex manufactured watches for Ingersoll and through the years, Timex watches would continue to be regarded as thoughtfully-designed timepieces for soldiers and civilians alike.

Now, Timex proudly continues its tradition of blending military-inspired utilitarianism with detail-focused design through the release of its new limited-edition NAM watch, created in collaboration with legendary menswear designer Nigel Cabourn.

Timex nigel cabourn watchThe NAM is inspired by the original Timex military-spec watch, the MK-1.

The timeless designs of Nigel Cabourn 
Using the Camper-style watches Timex designed for soldiers in the Vietnam War as a reference point, the military-inspired NAM timepiece was developed in celebration of Cabourn’s 50 years of creating generation-spanning menswear designs.

Working out of his Garden House atelier outside of Newcastle upon Tyne, Cabourn calls upon his renowned collection of more than 4,000 vintage military and outdoor clothing items and accessories for each piece he creates. Cabourn and his designs lie outside the realm of passing fashion trends, instead crafting each vintage military-inspired number with lifetime wear in mind.

Cabourn’s covetable designs are sold in six highly successful stores across Japan, a high-concept shop in London’s Covent Garden and retailers of fine fashion goods.

The NAM: An inspired collaboration 
Cabourn brought his timeless design ethic to the NAM, drawing particular inspiration from Timex’s original military-spec watch, the MK-1. This Vietnam-era timepiece won the company a government contract with its simple, utilitarian, durable and inexpensive design, which featured a unique domed lens for visibility and sealed-in battery. Cabourn’s watch takes the practical, unfussy style of the MK-1 and updates it for vintage military enthusiasts.

Timex nigel cabourn watchThe NAM is packaged in a vintage-style cotton drill and herringbone army mending kit.

The NAM is a stainless-steel watch with a smooth black dial that features a broad arrow at the 12 o’ clock position. Broad arrows have been used on military watches for centuries for easy readability, and the NAM pairs it with a vintage orange second-sweep hand. The timepiece comes with a L34 Ventile® strap, a sleek update to the nylon found in the vintage Campers, as well as an additional distressed leather slip-through strap that can be easily changed out for versatility. This collectible timepiece is packaged in a vintage-style cotton drill and herringbone army mending kit.

Timex and military watchmaking
Timex has a long tradition of crafting quality timepieces for the U.S. military. The company’s military involvement began during World War I, in an era where pocket watches were the style of the day. The first military wristwatches were made from welding two loops on a pocket watch to hold a strap, and then moving the crown from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Wristwatches were not only more convenient than pocket models, but they also helped soldiers coordinate military advances. As such, they quickly became the standard timepiece for the war effort and soon after for the everyday man and woman.

The NAM is a covetable, limited edition watch that we’re excited to introduce to fans of Timex’s watchmaking heritage, Nigel Cabourn devotees, military-inspired watch aficionados and new buyers alike.