Timex Watches

Written by Sarah Provost
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Timex watches debuted in the 1950s as the watch that "takes a licking and keeps on ticking." Print ads came first, proving that a Timex was waterproof, for instance, by strapping it around a turtle in a tank, or demonstrating its shockproof qualities by fastening it to the end of Mickey Mantle's bat. The public was duly impressed, but more and better ads were yet to come.

With the spread of television, Timex watches really came into their own. The dignified demeanor and distinctive voice of John Cameron Swayze, probably the most famous newscaster of the time, accentuated a new series of commercials to prove that Timex watches could survive whatever "torture tests" were thrown at them. To this end, Timex watches were stepped on by elephants, fastened to the propeller of an outboard motor, and plunged off the cliffs of Acapulco. By the end of the decade, one-third of all watches sold in America were from Timex.

Timex Watches Are Still Known as Survivors

Modern Timex watches are just as tough as their forebears, and people still send survival stories to the Timex company, some of which are posted on their website. One California couple found a Timex buried in seaweed on the beach. Judging from the encrustation of ocean plants and animals, the watch had probably been at the bottom of the sea for several months, but it was still running, and both time and date were correct. The alarm even went off, as it must have been doing under water all that time.

Timex watches have survived crushing auto wrecks, being buried in the Yukon tundra where temperatures reach 70 degrees below zero, and being in a basset hound's stomach for six months! The indestructible Timex has become an icon of American folklore. It's nice to know that some things are still built to last.


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