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Its inexpensive yet reliable shelf and mantel clocks, with cases designed to imitate expensive imported models, contained simple, mass-produced stamped brass movements. Waterbury Clock's products grew out of a long tradition of innovative clockmaking that developed in Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley, known during the nineteenth century as the "Switzerland of America." 1880s : Waterbury Watch, a sister company, manufactured the first inexpensive mechanical pocket watch in 1880 and quickly sold more than any other firm in the world. The "Waterbury," known for its extraordinarily long, nine-foot mainspring, was assembled by a predominantly female workforce whose dexterous fingers were prized for the close and exacting work. Waterbury pocket watches sold throughout North America and Europe, and could be found in Africa, where they were presented as gifts to native chieftains, and as far away as Japan. 1900s : By the turn of the twentieth century, the watch industry's first and most successful mass marketer, Robert H. Ingersoll, worked with Waterbury Clock to distribute the company's "Yankee" pocket watch, the first to cost just one dollar. Twenty years later, with nearly forty million sold, the "Yankee" became the world's largest seller and "the watch that made the dollar famous." Everyone carried the Yankee: from Mark Twain to miners, from farmers to factory workers, from office clerks to sales clerks. 1917 : During World War I, the U.S. Army required Waterbury Clock to re-tool the Yankee pocket watch into a convenient new "wristwatch" for soldiers; after the war, returning veterans continued to wear the handy timepiece, and civilians took them up in huge numbers during the 1920s. 1930s : The popularity of a brand new cartoon character led Waterbury Clock to produce the very first Mickey Mouse clocks and watches in 1933, under an exclusive license from Walt Disney. Despite the deep shadow cast by the Great Depression, within just a few years, parents bought two million Mickey Mouse watches for their children. Originally priced at $1.50, these same watches are collector's items that today command higher and higher prices. 1940s : During World War II, the newly renamed U.S. Time Company completely converted its factories to wartime manufacturing. Over the course of the war, it turned an eighty-four year tradition of reliable mechanical timekeeping to the record-breaking production of more high-quality mechanically-timed artillery and anti-aircraft fuses than any other Allied source. 1950s : U.S. Time's wartime expertise in research and development and advanced mass production techniques led to the creation of the world's first inexpensive yet utterly reliable mechanical watch movement. The new wristwatch, called the Timex, debuted in 1950. Print advertisements featured the new watch strapped to Mickey Mantle's bat, frozen in an ice cube tray, spun for seven days in a vacuum cleaner, taped to a giant lobster's claw, or wrapped around a turtle in a tank. Despite these and other extensive live torture tests, the Timex kept ticking. When John Cameron Swayze, the most authoritative newsman of his time, began extolling the Timex watch in live "torture test" commercials of the late 1950s, sales took off. Taped to the propeller of an outboard motor, tumbling over the Grand Coulee Dam, or held fist first by a diver leaping eighty-seven feet from the Acapulco cliffs, the plucky watch that "takes a licking and keeps on ticking®" quickly caught the American imagination. Viewers by the thousands wrote in with their suggestions for future torture tests, like the Air Force sergeant who offered to crash a plane while wearing a Timex. By the end of the 1950s, one out of every three watches bought in the U.S. was a Timex. 1960s : The Timex brand name became a household word during the 1960s. Having completely conquered the low-priced market, the company upgraded and diversified its product line. It introduced the "Cavatina," its first women's brand in 1959 and with it, a revolutionary merchandising concept: the watch as an impulse item. For the price of one expensive watch, women could buy several Timex watches to match different occasions or ensembles. Technological advances allowed the company to offer a wide range of products,
At this time. 1980s : Alone among all domestic watchmakers.S. and Delhi.including the first low-priced electric watches for men and women. Arkansas. the renamed Timex Corporation had sold more than 500 million of these mechanical movements. a nearly 150 year-old Timex vigorously pursues its long tradition of technological innovation and market leadership. sales. when the blue-green Indiglo® night light appeared on some of its digital and analog watches. People's Republic of China." jointly devised by serious athletes and industrial designers. only Timex survived the brutal 1970s watch industry shakeout caused by new digital watch technology and fierce price competition from the Far East. 1990s and Beyond : In the 1990s. In 1998. Annual surveys consistently rank Timex as number one out of fifty fashion brands in jewelry and accessories and the third most popular of all women's accessory brands. Little Rock. a sophisticated wrist instrument that carries scheduling. Timex pioneered its i-Control™ turn n pull analog alarm watch and. and the brand retailed in two hundred and fifty thousand different outlets. introduced in 1961. provides greater contrast between digital numbers and the display background. a distinction it has held throughout the 1990s. the Philippines. using a hologram-like material. as well as several other. In 1994. in 1986 Timex introduced its "Ironman Triathlon®. . Besancon. Timex embraces the new millenium with high brand confidence and a strong global workforce. more than 75 percent of all Timex watches are equipped with the Indiglo night light®. France. None of these manufacturing. Still another improved watch movement. having collaborated with Microsoft to create the necessary software to communicate the data from computer to watch. and distribution records has ever been duplicated by another watch manufacturer. Seventy-five hundred employees are located on four continents: in Middlebury (next door to Waterbury). became the world's largest selling sports watch. diversifying into a full line for men and women. Having gradually phased out mechanical watch production in favor of digital watches. served as the cornerstone for an extraordinary array of men's wristwatches. The company introduced the industry's first electroluminescent watch face in 1992. was a Timex. inexpensive jeweled models. Today. Israel. Brazil. 1970s : By the mid-1970s. Cebu. Pforzheim. Germany. the "Ironman Triathlon®" became America's best-selling watch and. in a joint venture with Motorola. Within a year. a new wrist pager called Beepwear®. The All-Day Indiglo® display. Jerusalem. Timex introduced the Data Link® watch. Connecticut. and other personal information. every other watch bought in the U. India. phone numbers. Manaus.