TIMEX Sample / Demonstrator Watch
Back in the fifties and sixties TIMEX put a lot of effort in demonstrating the fact that their watches were waterproof and shock resistant. We al have seen the ads and tv commercials in which the TIMEX watches were exposed to the most rugged conditions. It was no coincidence the TIMEX slogan was "a TIMEX can get a licking and keeps on ticking'
This TIMEX Waterproof Sample watch originates from February 1956 as the stamp on the inside of the case back indicates. It is powered by the TIMEX M21 movement and was released by the US Time Corporation as embossed on the caseback. The case seems to have been produced in Germany according to the inscription.
What were the Sample and Demonstrator watches used for?
Demonstrator watches were used by TIMEX salesmen to demonstrate the fabled features of these watches. They would turn up at a store. Open the case containing the watches (all had a single leather or nylon strap attached to the 12 o'clock side and were hung on hooks in the case). They would take one off the hook and throw it to the floor in front of the store keeper. Of course they would then pick it up and it was working fine! Probably they have sold many watches like that. Sometimes the watch was attached to a dunking machine that would all day long dunk the watch in water to show how waterproof it was. Sample watches were used by the TIMEX salesmen simply to show how the watch functioned as a timepiece.
Examples of the watches that survived
Due to the nature of their daily life, just a few sample and demonstrator watches live to tell this story of the TIMEX way of selling watches to their (potential) trade partners. I found only two other TIMEX models on the web that have sample or demonstrator printed on the dial. In the middle you see an example of a traveling salesman's suitcase (not TIMEX persé).