Timex and Indiglo Technology - A Brief History
The Timex name has been around since the late 19th century. Waterbury Watch began using the name Timex in the
UK in 1879, but the company didn’t use the name Timex in the US until 1950. The advertising and marketing
campaign behind the Timex brand is a study in itself. During the early years, Timex watches were put through torture tests on TV and the slogan “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” made the brand a household favourite. Timex has sold over a billion watches worldwide and continues to develop unique timepieces that provide a service for consumers everywhere.
In 1984 Timex introduced a new digital watch called the Triathlon. Timex was experiencing a companywide sales slow down, so they obtained the rights to use the name Ironman from Ironman Triathlon officials in 1986. The company began an extensive advertising program and promoted the watch as a 100 meter water resistant model instead of the 50 meters feature on the 1984 model. The Ironman was updated with a black, gray and orange coloured face and the 19mm ribbed wristband was branded with the Ironman name and logo design. The Ironman model became an instant success. Sales soared and easily beat Triathlon sales. The company continued to produce both models until 1991. Watch collectors call this period in Ironman watch history the “Pre-Indiglo” years.
The first major technological advancement in the Ironman came in 1992. Indiglo electroluminescence replaced the small white corner backlight. Indiglo technology is based on electrical and optical phenomenon. A thin film is passed through an electrical current and it emits light in response to the current. All the other internal features of the Ironman watch were the same as the 1986 model, but the face was painted black and silver and the watchband changed. The first Indiglo models were exclusively sold at K-Mart, before being released worldwide in 1993. The ladies version of the Ironman didn’t get the Indiglo technology until 1994.
In 1996 Timex developed an all day Indiglo which was reflective blue-green in colour. Timex added the Indiglo technology to other digital watches
because of consumer popularity. Timex continued to make Indiglo Ironman watches in the man’s and women’s models until 2005. The market was filled with Indiglo watches by that time and Timex wanted to move on. The Ironman watch has been updated several times since 1996 and certain design features have changed along with the advancements in technology, The Timex Datalink Ironman is extremely popular and a notebook adapter is available for all Datalink models.
One of Ironman’s biggest fans is former President Bill Clinton. Early Presidential photos of Clinton show him wearing the black and blue coloured Ironman. Clinton donated one of his early Ironman models to the Smithsonian. Timex continues to produce products that are manufactured in Switzerland and the Far East based on technology that is developed in Germany and the United States. Timex is a privately held company with over 2600 employees in offices around the world.