From the Pocket to the Wrist

Prior to World War I, a watch nearly always referred to a pocket watch. The wristwatch was invented at the beginning of the twentieth century, but its market had been confined to military use. During the 1899-1902 Boer War in Africa, battle commanders used it to synchronize the movements of army units.

The other wristwatch consumer was the fashionable women to whom French and Swiss designers introduced the timepiece as a stylish piece of jewelry. This created the perception that pocket watches were for men and wristwatches were for women.

This all changed during the Great War when the Ingersoll company transformed its ladies Radiolite Midget watch into a men’s military wristwatch by moving the crown to three o’clock, soldering on lugs and inserting a canvas strap. By the end of the war, many soldiers had become accustomed to the convenience of the wristwatch and it quickly replaced the pocket watch as their preferred timepiece.

Fast forward to 2017 when Timex would update the classic Midget watch style for an exclusive launch in Japan. Following its success, Timex brought the watch to the U.S. in August of 2018. Replicating the look of the original but with a modern interpretation, the new watch, called the Welton, maintained the pocket watch shape but added a leather cuff on the strap made to be removable made from S.B. Foot Leather.

Two models of the Welton were launched. Both feature a 38mm case, quartz analog movement, leather slip-thru strap and INDIGLO® light-up watch dial. One has a stainless steel case with antique bronze finish and a cream dial while the other has a tumbled finish and black dial. Both are water resistant up to 30 meters.

 

 

 

From the Timex Archive

With over 160 years’ experience crafting innovative and quality timepieces, Timex has amassed quite a collection of styles in its archive. From its humble beginnings in the town of Waterbury, Connecticut, Timex started with a group of artisans and craftsmen who created what would ultimately become synonymous with time itself and propel timekeeping from the mantelpiece to the pocket, and on to the wrist.

Rather than let classic and timeless watch styles fade into history, Timex launched the Timex Archive Project in 2016 to celebrate and honor those pioneering craftsmen. Inspired by our heritage, the Timex Archive capsule collection presents a new generation of timeless watches for a new generation of pioneers.

This year in June, at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence, Timex introduced two new styles, the F3 Acadia and the IQ+ Move smartwatch. The F3 Acadia project is the ultimate evolution of the iconic Acadia field watch, created by Timex in the 90’s. Based on the F3 system (three feature system: lightweight, highly visible, and tough) the Acadia became the essential standard utility watch for daily duty in the field. In the new collection, cases are updated with colored lenses including purple, amber, blue and grey fume.

The IQ+™ Move smartwatch allows the wearer to track activity and sleep, create fitness goals, set alarms and control the hands of the watch with their phone.

Together with the F3 Acadia project, the Timex Archive Project features three collections:

The Pioneers Collection presents military-inspired models combined with complex straps, some of them subject to exclusive stone washing treatments that replicate the aesthetics of vintage American field garments.

The Offspring Collection is a reinterpretation of the authentic collegiate style. Watches with a simple, classic taste brought alongside with straps that recall the colors, fabrics and design of College Club uniforms and ties from the 50’s and 60’s.

The Metropolis is an experimental collection with urban and contemporary inspiration. Most of the models are characterized by antiqued metal cases together with smoked color lenses, finding inspiration in both vintage style, military sunglasses and in cockpit instrumentation of today’s supersonic jets.

Exclusive to the Archive collections is the original turntable that enables customers to create their own watch with the possibility of mixing eight cases with as many straps with different styles, materials and finishing.

The straps by Timex Archive, are made with exclusive fabrics, express the competent know-how and the profound research that Timex does to offer something unique in the landscape of fashion accessories.

Automatics for the People

During the 1960’s, prior to the revolution of quartz technology, timepieces operated through a mechanical watch movement. Two types of mechanical watches exist: the manual hand-wind and the automatic wind.

Recently Timex launched the critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful hand-wind Marlin and now is following that up with an automatic Marlin. A timely take on the original, the new automatic Marlin maintains the classic look of the hand-wind, but in a 40mm size.

Unlike hand-wind watches that need to be wound each day, an automatic, if worn daily, is automatically wound by the movement of the wearer. This movement will drive the weighed rotor to move, which winds the watch automatically.

The mechanical watch movement is driven by a spring (called a mainspring) which must be wound periodically. The release of the energy held in the mainspring is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate.

Often referred to as being ‘Analog in a Digital World’, automatic watches have a special place among watch enthusiasts who prefer the craftsmanship and artistry when compared to more common quartz watch movement.

Currently, the Marlin automatic is the only automatic watch made by Timex and pairs stainless steel, domed crystal and mechanical movements with the timeless sophistication of a sleek mid-century design. We’ve carefully selected every single detail to create a watch that takes a licking but keeps on ticking.

Wound Around the Marlin

During the 1960s, Timex scored a hit with the hand-wound Marlin® watch. Sensing the time was right for a reissue, Timex launched a highly successful update to the original in 2017 with a classic hand-wound mechanical movement.

Now, as demand for the Marlin continues, Timex is proud to partner with Mr. Porter and Todd Snyder in offering three new hand-wound Marlin styles with exclusive new color palettes and, for the first time ever, a design specifically made for women.

Hand-wind (also called manual wind) watches must be wound daily to prevent the movement from stopping. This is perfect for Marlin owners who most likely will make strapping on their Marlin a part of their morning routine. Simply wind the watch until you feel resistance on the crown. This should be repeated every day to prevent the watch from stopping.

Referred to as the Gentlemen’s Standard, the Timex Marlin pairs the purity and pleasure of a hand-wound mechanical movement with the timeless sophistication of a sleek design. The only hand-wound timepiece available by Timex, the Marlin has earned commercial and critical success and a new audience of watch enthusiasts who adore the reissue of a true mechanical watch.

Featuring a stainless-steel case, genuine leather strap or mesh band, 34mm case size, 18mm lug width and water-resistant up to 30 meters, the Marlin is a contemporary take on a timeless classic.

The three new Marlin hand-wound timepieces include: a stainless-steel case with a domed acrylic crystal and lizard pattern leather strap in black with gold-tone finish; a women’s version with white leather strap and rose gold-tone finish; and an all stainless-steel version with a mesh band.

The popularity of the Marlin has allowed Timex to offer two styles to exclusive men’s fashion sites, Toddsnyder.com (stainless-steel mesh band) and Mrporter.com (lizard pattern leather strap in black with gold-tone finish).

Elegant, classic and expertly crafted, the Timex hand-wound Marlins are a must for any watch enthusiast or anyone looking to make a sophisticated statement with their watch.

The Story of the MK1

TIMEX has a long history of producing military-inspired timepieces, but the most iconic style was the Mil-Spec W-46374B. This watch was manufactured for a very short period of time (two months, February and March, 1982) to standards that destined it to be a true throw-away watch. The case back on the original style could not be taken off to change the battery or make repairs and the simple movement and lightweight body made it truly disposable. Issued to the US Marines in 1982, this was the very beginning of the MK1 story.

In 2016, TIMEX re-released the original 1982 MK1™ using a resin case with selected retailers globally. The light-weight appeal remains but the watch is no longer disposable and is constructed with the TIMEX stamp of quality, built to last.

In 2017, TIMEX adapts the revered MK1, using a contemporary adaptation of the iconic style, the MK1™ Aluminum stays true to TIMEX’ history of creativity and innovation. Lightweight and durable, the aluminum grade chosen for the MK1 is usually reserved for architectural applications.

For 2018 the new MK1™ Stainless Steel carries a tough look and feel. We’ve strengthened the case to bring solid performance to our military-inspired collection. The MK1 Steel delivers a strong profile to attain distinction and quality, with an acrylic domed crystal it is complemented by a premium Italian woven fabric with steel eyelets to ensure a durable fit. Also, available with chronograph features to create additional functionality.

Revival of Petite Women’s Watches

 

While large faces have dominated the market at times, timepieces with smaller cases and thinner straps are experiencing a surge in popularity. These sleek, jewelry-inspired watches are a stylish accessory for a range of lifestyles and add an elegant touch to your outfit.

The royal roots of petite watches
While petite watches are currently in the spotlight, it’s not the first time they’ve made an appearance. The origins of the petite watch style actually go back to the royal courts of the 19th century. The Queen of Naples is popularly credited with having worn the first wristwatch, which she had custom designed and resembled a delicate item of jewelry rather than the larger timepieces of today. Other royals and high society women followed the trend, having their own ornate watches designed for them, leading to the popularization of the so-called “bracelet watch.”

Since then, petite watches have been a go-to style for women looking for a slim and feminine timepiece.

Many modern petite watches have leather straps in a variety of colors and stainless-steel gold, silver and rose gold-tone cases. These stainless-steel bracelet watches have an elegant, jewelry-like appearance and can elevate a dressier outfit for a formal event or cocktail parties. Their slim size also makes them great for combining with bangles and rings for a statement look.

Ways to wear petite watches
There are a number of ways to wear a petite watch. Their small size and thin straps give them a minimalist, understated quality that can complement any outfit without overwhelming it, making them perfect for work-to-play looks.

 

Petite watches from Timex 
Timex offers a variety of watches for every taste and budget, including elegant petite timepieces. Here are some of our top picks:

Milano Semi-Bangle 24mm Watch
Make a statement with the ultra-sleek Milano Semi-Bangle. Available in both polished champagne and silver-tone stainless-steel with minimalist hour markers, the Milano Semi-Bangle is a modernist and bold timepiece with a slim profile.

Briarwood Mother of Pearl 27mm Expansion Band Watch
The Briarwood Mother of Pearl is a classic and sophisticated timepiece. It adds a touch of class to everyday outfits, but with its gold- or two-tone stainless-steel expansion band and iridescent Mother-of-Pearl dial, it can also be the perfect accessory for more formal occasions.

Easy Reader® 30mm Leather Strap Watch
Smaller cases don’t necessarily mean harder to read. The Easy Reader® 30mm watch features an enlarged typeface for at-a-glance timekeeping. Available in silver-tone with a white dial and red leather strap or gold-tone with a cream dial and black leather strap, the Easy Reader promises to be durable and always in style.

Expedition® Field Mini 26mm Leather Strap Watch
Outdoor adventurers and urban explorers alike will find a functional and durable petite watch option in the Expedition® Field Mini. A classic outdoor watch, the Expedition® brings together INDIGLO® night-light technology, water resistance up to 50 meters and a durable metal construction to create a dependable timepiece wherever your journey takes you.

 

Timex and Our Role in Mid-Century Modern Design

Though popularized between the 1930s and 1960s, mid-century modern design remains very relevant today. The style has experienced a resurgence in recent years, with consumers prizing the aesthetic’s streamlined forms and functional style in furniture, clothing, and accessories.

Timex contributed its own pieces to the mid-century modern movement through its watches that blended utility and durability with classic, streamlined style. Timex’s interpretation of the mid-century modern led to the creation of the Marlin®, a classic Timex watch still revered for its refined simplicity today.

Let’s take a closer look at mid-century modern design and Timex’s interpretations of the style:

“The rise of mid-century modern style in the U.S. was inspired by the Bauhaus movement.”

Returning from war
The mid-century modern design movement has its origins in the post-World War II period. Houses and neighborhoods for soldiers returning from war began popping up across the country, with the rise in suburban neighborhoods creating a need for streamlined furniture items that were affordable and functional.

In large part, the rise of mid-century modern style in the U.S. was inspired by the Bauhaus movement taking place in Germany, as well as the influence of Scandinavian designers who valued smooth lines and optimal functionality in their pieces. The Bauhaus movement took its inspiration from modernism and was created to be a counterpoint to the extravagant decorative flourishes of the Art Deco style. In a post-war era, the focus was on utility, but utility in this new age could still be aesthetically pleasing.

Icons of the era
Across the Atlantic, mid-century modern designers were making names for themselves. George Nelson and Florence Knoll were two such figures who indelibly changed the American furniture, architecture and design mentality.

Nelson founded the supremely influential design house and manufacturer Herman Miller, which introduced the American public to the iconic Eames chair and “marshmallow” sofa. Florence Knoll, who studied under Bauhaus masters, transformed home and office spaces in the U.S., guided by her ethos of examining every element of a space, from fabrics to the shapes of furniture, and the ways they work together.

Timex and mid-century modern design 
Recognizing the changing tastes and preferences of the consumer, Timex introduced a series of watches in the post-war period that responded to the need for superior function through its timepieces’ industry-leading durability and accurate timekeeping. In the mid-1950s, as consumers’ disposable income increased and the economy improved, Timex unleashed a new series of watches that offered superior functionality as well as aesthetically pleasing design, proving that watch wearers no longer had to choose between form and function – they could have both. This led to the introduction of the Model 22 in 1958, which featured an elegant style and improved engineering. Then came the release of the Marlin in the 1960s, a watch style still prized for its sophistication.

Today, Timex continues its legacy of blending form and function with the Fairfield collection, a contemporary take on mid-century modern design. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, the tasteful Fairfield timepieces feature clean and modern designs free of complications.

 

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.