TIMEX Promotion Watches
TIMEX watches, as they were cheap, were perfect for promotion activities. American company Heinz (with the famous Ketchup bottle hand) is one that easily come to mind. The first TIMEX (Ingersoll / US Time) promotion watches were the watches for Disney and the big TV Networks. This became their 'Character' line of watches.
TIMEX 1972 Kodak Voter's Choice Watches
In 1972 however it was Kodak who used TIMEX watches in their promotion of the Voter's Watch. $4,95 and both end panels of three boxes of any Kodak color film would get you the Voter's Watch of your choice.
You could choose between the neutral Uncle Sam watch, the Democrat Donkey watch or the Republican Elephant watch.
Neutral Kodak Voter's Choice Watch
Uncle Sam is a well-known symbol of America, named after Samuel Wilson and personified by cartoonist Montgomery Flagg during WWI through a recruitment campaign of the US Army. Because of there was another Samuel Wilson in the town where he lived, he was called Uncle Sam to be able to distinguish the two. As he delivered meat to the Army much of them knew Uncle Sam, also abbreviated to U.S.
Political cartoonist Thomas Nast played an important role popularizing both the donkey and the elephant as symbol for respectively the Democrat and Republican Party from 1870 on as he used these animals in his political cartoons in Harper's Weekly to comment on the political issues of that time.
Democrats Kodak Voter's Choice Watch
In 1828, during the presidential campaign Andrew Jackson, a popular war hero, was called jackass by his opponents. He used this in his campaign and won the election. Since then the Democrat Party is symbolized with the donkey.
Republican Kodak Voter's Choice Watch
The symbol of the Grand Old Party, the Republicans, is attributed to Tomas Nast. With his cartoon "The Third Term Panic" in 1974 he introduced both the elephant and the donkey in the same cartoon. Henceforth the elephant became the official symbol of the Republican Party.
The sequel of Eastman Kodak in 1988
For the 1988 US Elections Eastman Kodak decided to once again cooperate with Timex and copied their campaign from 1972 by issuing Voter's Choice watches once again. This time they used quartz watches, of course, but the resemblance is stunning.
TIMEX Asterix Promotion Watch (1977)
Although this terrific watch isn't part of my collection, but is an absolute grail watch on my wish list, it is definitely worthwhile mentioning as remarkable TIMEX promotion watch. It has only been issued in Germany in 1977 and has reference number 16070 and is powered by the TIMEX M24 movement.
I have read many of the adventures of Asterix, one of the leading figures in a tribe of brave people in Gaul, France, who resisted the occupation of the Romans, during my childhood. Due to a magic potion the Gaul were invincible. Love the way that Idéfix, the loyal companion of Asterix, is running around the dial counting the seconds.
KELTON Lucky Luke Promotion Watch (1980)
Another childhood cartoon was Lucky Luke. The only man who could shoot faster than his shadow. And who had to deal with the Dalton brothers - a family of criminals he had to catch time after time, accompanied with their dog companion Rataplan.
This Kelton Lucky Luke is the only one I have ever seen and happy to have it in my collection. Notice the cigarette on his lips. For a period of 33 years after the first publication in 1946, this was his appearance. After that, when smoking was no longer to be advertised towards youth, a straw replaced the cigarette.