The Italian Way
For most of us who have travelled to Italy and enjoyed la bella vita the phrase The Italian Way brings back nice memories and a certain feeling of laid back enjoying the good life. But how does it relate to watches and especially to TIMEX? When thinking of the Italian way in wearing your wristwatch, one name comes to mind. Gianni Agnelli - major Fiat shareholder and fashion icon for decades. He introduced the Italian way by wearing his watches on the outside of his cuff. More a fashion statement than anything else imho.
The Italian watchcollector
During my years of collecting vintage wristwatches I have seen an enormous love for vintage wristwatches in Italy. Not only is there an active watch community in Italy, both in high end vintage watches as in more affordable watches. The chance to get vintage watches, full set, in NOS condition, is the highest in Italy. This especially shows the love of the Italian for their watches.
One of the most influential vintage watch collectors in the world is in fact Italian. Auro Montanari - also known by his alias John Goldberger - is a huge watch lover who obtained many iconic high end and sought after pieces at bargaining prices during the quartz crises. Another famous Italian watch collector who founded one of the leading publishing houses on horology is Guido Mondani.
Metalcolor TX bracelets - The Italian Way
One of the distictive elements of Italian TIMEX watches of the mid seventies have been the sporty, flashy, colorful bracelets that were put on the watches. These Metalcolor TX steel bracelets were used for both men's, women's and juvenile's watches.
Available in the colors red, blue, white and olive green and in two different color shapes, diamond and rectangular.
The original packaging of the MetalColor bracelets from the 70's. On the left there is an instruction how to attach the bracelet to the case of your watch and on the right they advise you to visit the MetalColor dealer to shorten your bracelet to your wrist size in the case the standard length is too long. Of course all is printed in the Italian language ,,,
In the 1974 Italian TIMEX catalog, these Metalcolor TX bracelets were introduced being exclusively available on TIMEX watches.
Dominant local marketing and advertising
Looking at the examples of TIMEX marketing and advertising in the seventies, one can state that TIMEX was an agressive player in the Italian market. For the juvenile target group, TIMEX Italy introduced Captain TIMEX, a sort of Marvel superhero 'avant la lettre'. You can read al about this character here. Also they marketed the youngsters actively (Timex Junior).
TIMEX was definitely not positioned as just a child's watch in Italy. They marketed each target group directly and they weren't afraid that this would influence the way people looked at TIMEX watches. Look at how TIMEX Moda meets TIMEX Sport.
"i pillola d'energia"
The electro-mechanical Electric watches were heavily suppported by TIMEX in Italy. They used the slogan "i pillola d'energia" in several marketing campaigns and even published an Italian Electrics only catalog in 1971 in which they explained the working of these new Electric watches and presenting 18 different models. The 'pillola d'energia' was also visible on the rubber or leather straps. In 1975, as these pages of the TIMEX catalog show, Electrics 'per uomo' and 'per donna' were still popular in Italy.
Fancy watches come in fancy boxes
VIETATO TOCCARE TIMEX Electric (1971)
No, it's not a model name for a TIMEX Electric from 1971. It simply means 'DO NOT TOUCH" in Italian. Or as MC Hammer once sung, "U can't thouch that!". Obviously the Timex Box was lying in a display somewhere and people only got to look at the watch inside. This TIMEX Electric (ref. 76050) is a nice looking piece on original stainless steel bracelet.
Italians are amongst those people who are not affraid to show their bling. When it comes to watches, gold (plated) watches are very popular there. It's not surprising that this green dial gold plated cased TIMEX Electric Calendar only can be found in the Italian TIMEX Catalog. I believe it was only produced for the Italian market. Ref. 77560 and came with diver, World time and tachymeter bezel.
Unfortunately, I haven been able to find the nice gold color woven steel bracelet so far as shown in the 1971 TIMEX Electric Catalog. The bracelet definitely adds to the bling score of this typical Italian TIMEX Electric Calendar. Maybe one day ...