“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.”
– Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It
Our Timex customer service team received an email from a man named Darrell, and his message contained exactly the kind of story we love to hear about.
“My friend and I were trout fishing the Caney Fork River in Tennessee today. I looked down, and in about 2 feet of water laid this watch. I picked it up and couldn’t believe it was still ticking — and right on time!
I was impressed, and just wanted you all to know that your watches do ‘take a licking and keep on ticking!’ I was going to clean it up, but decided I like the story too much yet.”
We like it too! We’ll be in touch with Darrell to expand on his story — watch out here on the Timex Blog as we compile more In the Field stories and interviews.
Each spring and fall at Timex we introduce new watches, unveiling entirely new collections as well as creating expansions and continuations of past releases.
For the spring of 2020 we’re adding a new element to the season: recognizing and honoring the women of Timex, and women everywhere, during International Women’s History Month.
Timex has always supported and empowered women through the company’s history, and we’re proud to highlight some of the amazing women who make our success possible.
CHRISTINE LOVELLO, PRODUCTION
“Since I joined Timex in 2007, I’ve grown, I’ve gained experience, I’ve learned so much. I’ve gotten to interact with different cultures all over the world. I have had so many opportunities that I couldn’t have had without this position.
GLENIS WONG, DESIGN
“We should all be feminists, fighting for every kind of equality. My advice to all the young women out there is to sit in when it’s tough, and try and accomplish as much as you can.”
ERIN COSTANTINI, HUMAN RESOURCES “I’ve learned in the last 15 years of my HR career to push through obstacles, and to push back professionally and respectfully without backing down. To me, We Don’t Stop means choosing the path that isn’t always easiest or straightest and figuring out how to do the right thing by an employee, a friend or my family.”
ANNIE SANTO, MARKETING
“ I have had the fortunate opportunity to travel the world and help build a global business. The colleagues I interact with everyday have also shaped who I am. It is true that women have had many obstacles throughout history, but it is the determination of strong women and the support for each other that will allow us to push through and not stop.”
Military servicemen and women have long worn Timex watches for their reliability and simple, straightforward designs, and you can buy a whole range of military-influenced watches today that measure up to the task. Erich Gryszczuk bought himself a Timex field watch more than a decade ago, wearing it through the blazing deserts of Afghanistan and into the brutal cold of the Arctic Circle while serving in the US Military.
The watch kept on ticking through intensive training exercises, field maneuvers, wildly-varying extreme weather conditions and day-to-day regular use without missing one beat.
“I bought one of your Military watches at the US PX in Afghanistan in 2008 and it is still working today. I haven’t even changed the battery. I wore it all through Afghanistan and have worn it as far north as Resolute Bay (Nunavut).
Tough watch, thanks for a great product!”
For reference, when Erich says “as far north as Resolute Bay,” that’s pretty far north, and it’s an extremely cold place. Nunavut is roughly on the border between where tundra climate patterns transition into polar, on the same latitude as northern Greenland.
To get your hands on a watch as capable as the one Erich’s worn all over the world, head to our Military Collection. Whether you’re after something digital, all-metal or with a cloth strap and resin case, we have you covered — the travel plans, though, are all up to you.
This nostalgic editorial looks back at an event that many of us probably remember as well — a kid’s first watch. In the case of James Stacey, a senior writer for Hodinkee, it was our Timex Ironman (a model from the beginning of the INDIGLO® era) that first sparked his love for the world of watches and led him to a career in the industry.
“If you can, think back to 1994. Given the path that my life has taken, it was an important year in the life of a young boy obsessed with a great many things, including the underwater world, cameras, Playmobile, LEGO, and just about anything that glowed in the dark. 1994 was also the year I asked for my first watch.
Early in the year, I was confronted with a dilemma of great magnitude – how to spend the birthday money I received from my grandmother. For a soon-to-be eight-year-old, there is no power more nectarine in its sweetness than one’s birthday cash. Mine came in two parts. I wanted to see the 1994, large-dog comedy sequel Beethoven’s 2nd, and I wanted a Timex Ironman with the then still-new-to-the-market tech called Indiglo.
So, sometime in March of 1994, my parents and I stopped by The Bay (a Canadian department store) en route to the movie theater. Armed with a king’s ransom of gift money from my Grandma (no more than $50, which made me a one-percenter in the world of Canadian 8-year-olds), I bought my first watch. It was, and remains, a black-on-grey example of a very early Indiglo-equipped Timex Ironman Triathlon, fitted to a black resin strap. While Timex undoubtedly designed it for athletes in training, I could not so much as hope to conceal how happy I was with this little watch, and its cutting-edge electroluminescent backlight. I recall watching a VHS copy of Beethoven’s 2nd sometime later, and being surprised by just how much of the film I had missed as I endlessly engaged that smooth blue-green backlight in the dark theatre.”
We can thank the US Military for helping to develop a lot of things we use today — the GPS system, aviator sunglasses, duct tape, cargo pants, even microwaves.
And… the wristwatch?
US troops did, in fact, help popularize the wristwatch in the early part of the 20th century. It really got rolling during WWI, when trench warfare tactics and modern weaponry changed the face of battle. Soldiers needed to constantly be aware of the time for missions and maneuvers, but couldn’t put everything on pause and divert their attention to pulling out a pocket watch, flipping up the cover, then stowing it again during a seige. If you’re fighting in the trenches and trying to stay alive, you’re probably also trying to rid yourself of fiddly things as much as possible.
Some of these soldiers in Europe looked for help from a metalsmith to attach strap lugs to their pocket watches. Others modified the old watches themselves, so that they could be strapped to a wrist.
This obviously kept the watch far more accessible than if it had been stowed in a pocket or bag, and allowed a solider to quickly glance down to check elapsed time or running time during crucial moments (or maybe just count down the hours until he could expect a hot meal and a good night’s sleep). When these soldiers came home, they found that they preferred the wrist watch to a pocket watch, and set a trend others followed.
Many well-known watch companies have produced, and still produce, military-grade watches: Omega, Panerai, Rolex, CWC, Tudor, IWC, Casio and even Seiko. Other brands have occasionally just gone in for the aesthetic, like Audemars Piguet with their Royal Oak 14790ST (love it or hate it, at least it’s interesting to look at!). Some are simple field watches, but dive watches, chronographs and oversized pilot’s watches all have their roots in the timepieces that were developed to meet the needs of various militaries.
Pictured (and listed) below are some of our own military-inspired watches that we think you’ll like. Shop the whole category here; otherwise, scroll down to see our picks.
Pilots have always needed to keep close track of the time, and before digital controls and autopilot, you’d be relying on your watch for navigation and maneuvering as you flew above the battle zone. Pilot’s watches are usually on the large side by today’s standards — 42 to 48mm — with dials that can be read easily at a glance, even when the cockpit is vibrating or shaking. Some pilots also still wear wristwatch chronographs as failsafes, in case the cockpit instruments are damaged during flight. Also of note: pilot’s watches were originally designed with oversized crowns so their mechanical movements could be wound while wearing gloves. Since this is rarely a concern nowadays, the big-crown feature is much less common, but brands like IWC, Laco and Zenith still make modern big-crown pilot’s watches powered by mechanical movements.
Among the simpler military-inspired designs, the humble field watch is a general-purpose timepiece for all conditions. These are typically 40mm or smaller, relatively lightweight, and are free of extra features or complications like a chronograph or day/date window to keep things as stripped-down as possible. However, some feature rotating bezels to help with navigation like our Navi Land watch.
Historical fact: Timex produced a watch for a contract bid with the US Marine Corps in the early 1980s. Though the contract was never fully put into action — the military ultimately went with a different watch supplier — that project developed into the 36mm resin MK1 we have today, which is almost exactly the same as that original prototype.
DIVE WATCHES For special-operations troops and certain divisions of various naval armies, a watch that’s robust and highly water-resistant has always been a must. While a true dive watch meets very exacting international standards for water resistance, dial legibility and other factors, most needs can be met with a 100m/10atm water resistance rating, a unidirectional rotating bezel and a high-contrast dial with glowing hour markers.
Today we celebrate
what it means to be American—a celebration of the diverse people, cultures and
landscapes all coming together as the building blocks for our country. At
Timex, specifically, we’re reflecting on what it means for us to be American
watchmakers and how we celebrate our heritage.
When asked about
what this project has meant to him, our watch technician, Leonard Provenzano
III, said, “It’s as simple as having a sense of pride. While making this watch,
I feel pride in knowing that this is an American-made watch.”
In 1854, we
disrupted an industry—taking traditional European clockmaking and layering in American
industrial ingenuity. We democratized timekeeping and, over the years, we kept
innovating. Our watches went under water as part of our Timex Torture tests on live television, were shot into space, raced across the finish line and also provided a whole new way to
tell time in the dark with the introduction of our INDIGLO® backlight.
Always striving to
be innovators in the art of timekeeping, we wanted to get back to our roots.
When we decided to create our American Documents® Collection, we knew it was important to
embrace what it meant to be all-American watchmakers.
This meant sourcing
American materials and working with American craftsmen from all over the
country. In addition to providing us with the materials needed to create our
American Documents Collection, we had the opportunity to learn more about these
American workers and the pride that goes into their crafts—from sourcing metals
to finishing glass components to creating the leather straps and everything in
Each part of our
American Documents watch is made in America using American materials and a high-quality
Swiss movement. And, perhaps most importantly, everything created starts with
talented Americans who shared their craft with us.
We started with a
first in modern American watchmaking, creating a drop-forged case to maintain
the grain and strength of the American-sourced stainless-steel. It is then
complemented by its hand-polished top ring and stainless-steel crown with a
brass crown insert that honors our 1854 roots in Waterbury, Connecticut—The
leather strap is made by American craftsmen using American hides from S.B. Foot
Tanning Company in Red Wing, Minnesota—a company that has been in
near-continuous operation for 147 years. The double-layer strap is carefully
stitched around a solid buckle and naturally shapes itself to your wrist.
meets modern technology with our Gorilla® Glass 3 NDR (Native Damage
Resistance). The scratch and impact-resistant crystal, sourced from Rhode
Island, is cut by a precision optics maker using the same process used to
watch is our commemorative case back coin. Stamped from US-sourced brass and
plated with Aged Waterbury Brass to match the color of our original timepieces,
the case back coin is hand-polished before completing the watch and shipping it
off in an indigenous solid cherry wood case that has been carefully made by
It’s not enough to
create our American Documents watch using American-sourced materials. This
collection comes together at our Timex headquarters in Middlebury, Connecticut—just
a few miles away from the location of our original factory in Waterbury.
So, again, today we
celebrate. We celebrate the freedom to innovate and create and for all of the
watchmakers who paved the way. But, mostly, we celebrate all of the people who
helped bring us to this moment and our great country built by the innovators
and creators who inspire us every day.
Happy 4th of July!
DISCOVER MORE OF THE AMERICA WE LOVE:
As we set out to
find the perfect materials for our first American-made watch in decades, we
traveled throughout the United States with photographer Bryan
Schutmaat to capture some of
the incredible landscapes of our country. The diverse landscapes and cultures
helped inspire us, and we hope they inspire you too.
In 1854, as the Waterbury Clock Company, we took clocks from the mantels of the 1% and brought them to the world. Our roots in Waterbury, Connecticut—the Brass City—allowed us to evolve clockmaking, switching from wooden gears to gears made of brass. This, along with our modernized factories, allowed us to create longer lasting, more affordable timepieces.
We didn’t stop there though. We’ve always been forward-thinking innovators. In 1901, produced the famous Dollar Pocket Watch that was so popular, writer Mark Twin bought two. Not too long after, we moved the pocket watch to the wrist. Originally issued as standard military equipment, wristwatches became the new civilian timepiece of choice after World War I came to an end.
Throughout the years, we introduced character watches and the nearly-indestructible V-Conic movement. With the belief that “good enough” wasn’t good enough, our watchmakers continued to think outside of the box and we continued to evolve.
In the mid-century, we introduced the world to the Timex name and what would become our modern brand with the watch that “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” Every week, America tuned in as John Cameron Swayze put our watches to the test on live television. The slogan and our watches cemented Timex as a cultural icon.
The industry continued to evolve and change, shifting towards quartz watch movement for a longer lasting, more accurate timepiece that was more affordable to produce. This transition to quartz movement brought production to Asia.
And now, after decades, we brought watchmaking back home. Inspired by our people, culture and landscape, we set out to discover what it means to make a modern watch in America. Our watchmakers dusted off old tools and created new techniques to craft small batches of American-made watches at our headquarters in Connecticut—only seven miles away from our original factory.
Just like our very first mantle clocks created 165 years ago, our American Documents™ collection layers American ingenuity and craftsmanship with European precision to create truly amazing timepieces.
The collection currently features four striking American-made watches, drop forged in US-sourced stainless steel and hand finished to a brushed satin with a highly polished top ring. Impact-resistant Gorilla® Glass 3 protects the sub-second dial and gold-plated Swiss movement. The rich leather straps are made with American hides by American craftsmen. And right down to the details, the “Aged Waterbury Brass” case back coin and crown insert honor our original stamped brass clocks and our roots in Waterbury, Connecticut—the Brass City.
Creating an American-made Timex wasn’t easy. We invested nearly three years to find and qualify America’s best craftsmen, capable of creating the precision parts worthy of a Timex. We had to invent new processes for making hands and convince auto parts manufacturers they were capable of making something as beautiful as a watch case.
We’re excited to bring watchmaking back to the US, and even more excited for you to join us on this journey.
Ariel Adams—owner, publisher and editor-in-chief of aBlogtoWatch—decided
to take his first ever visit to our Timex headquarters in Middlebury,
Connecticut and managed to get an exclusive first look at our American
Prior to taking a trip with our Design Director, Giorgio
Galli, to visit the American suppliers coming together to make our made in
America watches, Adams took the time to chat with us about his take on the
collection, how he thinks it will shift perspectives on the Timex brand and the
emotional connection people will make with this timepiece.
A noted watch enthusiast with a dedicated following, Adams admits he wasn’t expecting the news of our American Documents collection—our first American-made watch in decades.
“I would say I was pleasantly surprised and curious,” he
says about his initial reaction to the project. “It makes sense for Timex to do
this project, but it isn’t one that even serious brand devotees might expect. I
recognize the large storytelling effort required to educate people like me as
to what the product and the project are all about.”
Our American Documents collection brings together time-tested Swiss movement with beautiful, carefully-crafted American materials—including crystal made in Massachusetts, leather straps sourced and tanned in Minneapolis and a case back coin stamped in US-sourced brass and plated with “Aged Waterbury Brass,” all assembled by hand at our headquarters (located just seven miles from our original factory).
“American Documents watches contain a Swiss watch movement,
but everything else you see and touch on the watch is made in the USA and uses
parts from over a dozen American manufacturers, all curated by the Timex team,”
Adams has seen many of our watches and thought he had a
pretty solid grasp on the brand and its direction. That is, until American
Documents came along.
“Did I expect this from Timex? No,” Adams says. “But it’s
very welcome and not something predictable from the brand.”
While many know us as an American brand, this collection is
our first American-made watch in decades. What started as an idea quickly
became a project the entire team was passionate about, setting us out to search
for the highest quality American-made materials to create a watch that reflects
the diverse people, culture and landscapes that inspire us every day.
“This is not a standard production,” Adams notes. “New
supply chain, new development, new materials… this fundamentally changed how
Timex made a watch. It’s not your everyday Timex.”
Adams had the chance to visit with some of the manufacturers
whose parts were used in creating the American Documents watches.
“What an adventure it was to visit both a selection of the
manufacturing partners and Timex’s incredible headquarters. It’s hard to
package that experience for others, but it proved to me that American Documents
isn’t just a marketing campaign but something real that is worth sharing. What
I’ll remember most is the massive investment of time and effort the Timex team
put into this project. What is also cool is the story of all the skills Timex
as a historic watchmaker needed to relearn.”
“I think what was most interesting was the authentic pride
and interest all the manufacturing partners had in this project,” Adams says.
“They saw it as more than just another parts order and saw their relationship
with Timex as different than that of just another client. I also think it’s
interesting how challenging it is to make watch parts correctly and that many
people have the notion it’s easy and that these parts can be made anywhere with
During his time at our headquarters, Adams also took note of
how we fit into the narrative: Time as a brand and product that is
“America has been one of the world’s most important makers
of democratized technology. What they didn’t invent, they often made accessible
to the masses. Timex has been integral with timepieces in this regard and now
they release an emotional product, but one that maintains and serves those very
When asked about what he meant when he talked about the
emotional value of the watch, he explains that people don’t buy watches because
they need one; they buy watches because they want one. In the ‘90s, watches
solidified its place in the fashion and style sphere. Consumers were now
looking for more than just a watch; they wanted a watch that aligned with their
style and their values.
So, what does this mean for the American Documents
“For me, Timex always sat to the side,” Adams says. “The
brand is so popular and well-known, I didn’t think there was anything they
could add. They didn’t need me to talk about their products.”
But now, as American Documents is introduced for the first
time, there is plenty to talk about.
The Timex Archive project represents over 165 years of watchmaking innovation and expertise. This signature collection celebrates and honors the pioneering craftsmen who established Timex as a global leader in watchmaking. Inspired by our heritage, the Timex Archive capsule collection presents a new generation of timeless watches for a new generation of pioneers.
One of the more popular sets in the Timex Archive is the Pioneers collection. Influenced by military-inspired design and the great outdoors, this collection offers rugged and durable watches that combine quality craftsmanship and modern style for fashion-forward consumers who appreciate the attention to details. Great for camping and hiking, or simply a casual timepiece for everyday wear, the Pioneers collection is where you’ll find your new favorite watch.
Several of the watches in the Pioneers collection are based on the MK1 model, the Mil-Spec W-4637B that was manufactured for a brief period in 1982 and issued to U.S. Marines. One of the most popular is the MK1 40mm watch. A re-issue of the original MK1 36mm, this watch is lightweight and durable and presents a civilian version of the military issued timepiece. Featuring a 40mm aluminum case, fabric strap, quartz movement, date feature and INDIGLO® night-light, the MK1 40mm is a great companion for any adventurer.
For a more refined look, the Allied Chronograph 42mm watch is a fine choice. Featuring a 42mm brass case, this timepiece makes a clean statement with its silver-tone stainless-steel bracelet that offers a stylish contrast to its black dial. The Allied Chronograph also has quartz movement, date feature and is water-resistant to 100 meters. This watch is also available with a fabric strap.
For the pioneer who fancies maritime adventures, the Navi Ocean 38mm watch offers classic style and a reversible strap. Featuring a polished 38mm stainless steel case, the Navi Ocean is slightly smaller than other Pioneer styles but more in-line with fashion trends. The Navi Ocean has a quartz movement and is water resistant to 100 meters. The real appeal comes with the fabric reversible strap that offers either an indigo blue or blue and brown color compliments the blue watch dial.
When it comes to watches, they don’t come much simpler than our Easy Reader®. For over 40 years, this basic watch has become synonymous with Timex and continues to be a best-seller.
As the wristwatch shifted from being purely functional to a fashion accessory, dial treatments began to rely on aesthetic values rather than readability. Timex, known for functional and reliable timepieces, went back to the company’s roots to provide a functional, reliable and readable wristwatch.
Based on dials from the Waterbury Clock Company, Timex produced watches that could be easily read with a glance. The use of large, full Arabic numerals and bold hands, both in high contrast to the dial color provided consumers with a wristwatch that could be read from across a room.
Prior to 1977, the men’s size watches using dial treatments were marketed under the collection name Mercury. The smaller women’s size was sold as the Petite collection. In 1977, Timex applied to trademark the name Easy Reader® and began a national advertising campaign which included both print and television advertisements. The campaign touted Easy Reader as “The NEW watch with the BIG numbers”.
Originally offered using white dials with black printed numerals and hands, the wrist watches resembled a traditional school clock. To broaden the collection to a full assortment, bold dial colors replaced the traditional white dial and darker colors, such as black and deep blue, utilized high contrast white printed numerals and hands to ensure readability even with a more fashionable look. Easy Reader quickly became the workhorse collection for Timex.
Since its introduction, the Easy Reader watch has seen many evolutions from basic black and white to bold colors, from simple leather straps to the iconic expansion band attachment. It has seen the addition of the INDIGLO® night-light feature, expanding its readability to absolutely any condition with a press of the crown.