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December 7,2009

Last Friday was a relatively nice day, but as snow was forecasted for the weekend, we decided to take a final roadtrip with the convertible before we accept the fact that Winter is here and put on the Boxster's hardtop.  Our destination?  The Timex Watch Museum in Waterbury Conn.  The Museum was very easy to find, and since it was a weekday, not very busy.  We actually had the entire place to ourselves.

The Museum was a bit over 120 miles from Boston, but traffic was light and we had the Harry Potter audio books to keep us company.  Timexpo® The Timex Group Museum is located just off Route I-84, in the corner of the Brass Mill Commons section of the Brass Mill Center Mall.  Our directions said to look for the 40 foot high Easter Island statue outside the building!

Sure enough, in a courtyard next to the Timexpo building was the huge stone statue.  We took a few photos to give readers a proper sense of scale.  Hard to imagine these things were carved and moved by the natives on Easter Island with nothing more than just logs and muscle.  The linkage to Timex is an interesting one.  To find out what that is, you will have to visit the Timexpo yourself.

Waterbury Conn had a long history of clock and watch making.  The Timexpo museum takes a visitor through the town's timeline with displays of authentic artifacts and interesting naratives.  In the 1800s, Waterbury Clock and others contributed to the area's clocking making fame.  Offerings such as the Yankee "dollar" watch gave everyone a chance to own a timepiece.  One of the more famous owner was Mark Twain...who ordered another one just days after receiving his first.

However, the most famous watch to come out of Waterbury Clock was probably the Mickey Mouse clocks and watches.  These were originally sold in the 1930s for $1.50.  They are now collector items which continue to appreciate in value. 

A new wristwatch called the Timex came on to the scene in 1950.  Known for its ability to "take a licking and keep on ticking," the watch's sales took off and never looked back.  By the end of the decade, it cornered over 30% of the US market.

The Museum had many displays of Timex print ads, TV commericals, and even one of the "torture test" water tanks complete with a working outboard motor and a Timex Marlin strapped to one of the blades of its propellar.  There were also lots of other exhibits displaying famous Timex watch innovations (Indiglo, Triathalon, etc...). 

There is a lot more than just the history of watches at the Timexpo.  When we stepped through the Time Tunnel on the second floor, we were transported to an entire exhibit dedicated to the archaeological mysteries of ancient civilizations.  There were also exhibits looking forward to a future methods of time keeping.  A future where contact lenses may have a readout directly embedded in them or a watch that monitors more than just time. 

At the end of the tour is, of course, the Timex Museum Store.  The store has a huge collection of Timex watchs and all of them were heavily discounted, some by up to 70% !!!  We, of course, could not resist and found something awesome in the 40% off section.  If you are in the area, the Timexpo is a stop well worth making...if not for the fascinating history lessons, then for the amazing discounts on watches.  [Permalink] -Timexpo Visit


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