Timex and Pulsar watches set the pace for America
The now famous advertising slogan needs licked and keeps working has helped make the Timex brand world famous as a producer of reliable and stylish watches that are also very affordable. Popularized during the 1950s and early 1960s by television personality John Cameron Swayze, the groundbreaking campaign made the most of television as an advertising medium and fueled the power of the show.
Viewers were treated to a number of different scenarios that tested the Timex’s capabilities during what was often considered a torture test. The clocks were tied to the blades of outboard boat motors, thrown into the water from heights of up to 1,600 feet, and displayed on camera so they were still running. The campaign was so successful that, by the late 1950s, Timex watches had become America’s most popular watch brand.
With sales of more than a billion watches since they were first introduced in 1950, no other watchmaker has matched Timex’s performance. Timex’s parent company was founded long before the first Timex was introduced, dating back to the year 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company in Connecticut. The early watch market featured only pocket watches with wristwatches that did not become popular until the early 1800s.
Waterbury capitalized on the popularity of the wristwatch and introduced its first wristwatch models during the First World War. Under a license from the Disney Company, Waterbury introduced the Mickey Mouse watch in 1933, which became an instant hit and is appreciated by collectors even today.
The Timex watch brand has survived intense competition from other watch manufacturers and remains one of the best known and most purchased watches on the market today.
Pulsar watch history
Not from the Swiss but from an American manufacturer, the Pulsar helped revolutionize how people felt about the humble wristwatch. Born out of the microelectronic blast technology that was produced during the 1970s, Pulsar literally changed the face of timekeeping.
Until the 1970s, the dial of the analog watch dominated the design of wristwatches. Then, in 1970, the Hamilton Watch Company introduced a watch that completely abandoned traditional notions of the analog watch. Fully electronic and with digital time reading, the Pulsar was not immediately accepted by the public. Digital reading was made possible by the invention of the light-emitting diode, or LED.
A product of electronic miniaturization, LED can now be found in everything from car taillights and appliances to spacecraft. The main advantage of LEDs is the ability to emit a relatively strong flow of light while consuming much less energy than any type of vacuum gas lighting.
The 1970s were a time of great enthusiasm and concentration on the successful exploration of the moon and other space achievements. The name Pulsar was taken from an astrological term used to describe the intense bursts of radiation produced by the collapse of neutron stars in deep space. Like a pulse of light, the watch face was visible in daylight conditions and consumers gradually warmed up to the modern look of the Pulsar. Since the introduction of the first Pulsar, the look has returned to the more traditional analog dial design combined with the reliability of an electronic quartz movement that has given the Pulsar a well-deserved reputation for precision.
The newer models of the Pulsar present a classic watch style at a price that is very accessible to the average watch buyer, although the Pulsar has never understood precision and reliability.