Quick Reference Timex Timeline
Q I've inherited Grampa's Timex from the 1930's, can you tell me anything about it?
A Well, actually, if it has Timex on the dial, it's more than 15 years later than that! Here's a Quick Reference Timeline on Timex watches.
1941 ~ ~ The Olsen Family purchase a Majority Shareholding in the Waterbury Watch Company. Wartime production switches almost entirely to Defence
products, gyroscopes, bomb fuses and the likes. Company continues as WWC.
1943 ~ ~ Company is renamed as "The United States Time Corporation"
1944 ~ ~ Limited production of Nurses Watches on a trial basis carry the first recorded use of the TIMEX name (till October 1945)
1945 ~ ~ The Timex name appears on advertisements for Clocks - "The Clocks with the TIMEX Heart"
~ ~ The name "TIMEX" approved as a trademark
1946 ~ ~ Timex Dundee plant opened with eleven employees in a Farmhouse near Dundee Scotland
1958 ~ ~ Company purchases Durowe - Laco Plant in Pforzheim. W. Germany, with a view to making "Electric" watches.
~ ~ Timex 400 series uses 17J movemenst by Hattori[Seiko] (Japan)
1959 ~ ~ and up to around 1967 at Dundee, ink stamp codes determine age, see below - further down page. Other plants may vary!
1961 ~ ~ First Backset Electric in production from Pforzheim Factory
1963 ~ ~ and till 1970 - determine age of a watch using the system below, four numbers to left of the "6" marker, four numbers to the right
A full .pdf file illustrating this system can be downloaded from here, on our Manuals and Catalogs page
1971 ~ ~ and up to 1973 - system use five numbers to left, four numbers to right.
1974 ~ ~ and on - system uses five numbers to left, and five numbers to right. (A letter "A" designates a half year model or case change)
1969 ~ ~ Experimental Quartz watch in design and development
1972 ~ ~ First production run of Quartz Balance Wheel watches
1974 ~ ~ First production runs LED/LCD watches
Timeline extracted from "Timex - A Company and it's Community 1854 - 1998" (History of the Timex Company)
How Old is My Timex?
Q I've an old Timex, a first watch, how do I know how old it is?
A Take a look at the dial of your watch, many Timex have a set of numbers around the 6 O'Clock Marker. You may need a
magnifier of some kind to read these. If you can see them, the numbers to the right of the six marker will tell you the year
your Timex was originally made. Check out the last two figures on the right, these are the year of manufacture -
so xx71 = 1971 and xx73 is for 1973 and so on.
The other two (or sometimes three) numbers tell you the type of movement fitted - see alongside - and so this watch
is fitted with a #32 movement
The group of numbers to the left of the six marker are the Timex Catalog Number. You may be able to use these
to identify the exact model from our Manuals and Catalog pages if we have a Catalog for the year in question.
Picture of Timex Diver Courtesy Forum Member Marc.
Help! I can't see ANY numbers?
Q I've looked and I can't see ANY numbers at all, what next?
A Before 1967, Timex used a coded number ink-stamped onto the inside of the back of the watch. You would need to remove the back
of the watch and cross reference this number against our list HERE (further down this page). SPECIAL NOTE :- Some Timex
watches do have the numbers, but these are hidden under the outer metal edge of the watch where it meets the crystal (or glass).
To read these particular numbers, you would need to remove the insides of the watch, and in some watches, this can only be done
by removing the crystal using a "special tool" known as a crystal lift.
How Much is My old Watch worth?
Q I've been left my Grandad's/Dad's/Uncle's/Granny's Watch. How much is it worth?
A No one on the Timex Forum is a Professional Appraiser or Valuation Expert, and therefore, we cannot offer any kind
of valuation or appraisal service. All of our members are enthusiastic Timex collectors with some experience in restoration and
collecting, so we can say that from our experience, any watch is simply worth what someone will pay you for it. Condition is
paramount - a watch in an "as new" condition, in original condition, and with box and papers, warranty and paperwork,
will always be worth more than one that has been languishing at the back of a drawer for many years.
You may be able to get a ballpark figure for the value of a watch by scanning the completed listings for your watch, or a very
similar one, on any of the major Internet Auction Sites. A valuation for Insurance purposes can normally only be given by a
reputable and qualified watchmaker.
I think my Timex is really old
Q My Timex looks really old, and I can't see any numbers, What Next?
A From 1959 and before 1967, Timex used an ink stamped date code inside the back of each watch. You need to take off
the caseback to find this date stamp code. (Be careful not to clean this off if you are cleaning up the watch, it is the main
method of dating watches within this time frame.) The ink code consists of a letter and number. The number denotes the year of
Before 1967, Timex watches were identified by means of a Mnemonic and also by the model numeber in the Sales Catalogue and Advertising.
For these watches, we may be able to help date it by seeing a photograph, and one or more of the members will perhaps recognise the watch by
previous kbnowledge or experience.
Which Battery Do I Use in My Timex?
Q I have an "Electric" or "Dynabeat" Timex that says "Use Timex A CELL"? - What do I use?
A In line with their Company Philosophy at the time, Timex actually made their own batteries, more correctly cells, for Timex watches. These were identified using Alphabetical Letters - type "A" and so on. Today we use cells made by other manufacturers who do not use the Timex system. Here's a listing of the most popular Timex ones and more modern equivalents. The listing contains the most popular equivalents OUTSIDE THE USA, and may be of more use to European collectors. In the US, Energizer uses a three number system (Industry Standard) which I have added to finish the chart - a "generic" type of numbering system. I'm indebted to Bill D for pointing this out to me. The Euro equivalents may be of use to US members if you buy from Euroland or other sources with an unfamiliar cell number already fitted.
Serious Collectors of older Electric Watches will always use a high quality make of cell as a replacement to avoid any damage caused by leakage. Also, storing an Electric or Dynabeat, they will pull out the crown, this limits the discharge of the cell and again helps to avoid the possibility of leakage due to severe discharge.
A much FULLER equivalents table exists here - on the Electric Watches Website - and thanks to Paul for his permission to link to and use this information. Paul has lots of useful stuff about other makes of Electric Watches, and also does undertake repairs and service worldwide by prior arrangement.