Do you have an old Timex watch you would like to sell? Or perhaps you would like to collect watches but don’t yet have the budget for Rolex, Patek Phillip or Omega watches. In which case, Timex watches can be a great way to get started.
Timex is an American watch brand. The company has a history of innovation, durability, style and affordability. They manufactured affordable timepieces that looked as expensive and luxurious as their European counterparts, but came with a much smaller price tag.
History of Timex watches
The first watch bearing the name Timex was made in 1950. However, the company had made their first watches almost a hundred years earlier in 1854 under the name Waterbury Clock Company. It was a Connecticut-based company producing cheaper alternatives to European pocket watches.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the WCC merged with another watchmaker. Together, they created the Ingersoll Yankee pocket watch. It cost just a dollar – about $35 in today’s money – and proved extremely popular.
Despite the popularity of the watch, the company faced financial difficulties because of bad management. Luckily for Timex, times were changing and wristwatches becoming popular among men, too. Timex was quick to modify their models and created the watch we know today.
During the Second World War, the company was renamed and focused on supplying bomb timers for the US military. After the war, they refocused on wristwatches with the aim of making cheap and durable watches for everyone.
The company was renamed again when Thomas Olsen bought it. Combining the names of two popular magazines Time and Kleenex, Timex was born.
Today, only a few premium Timex models are still made in the USA. The company ceased their American production of their mainline watches in 2001 due to costs. The brand has now ventured into new territory and is working on GPS devices and heart-rate monitors.
You can read the full comprehensive history of the watch company here.
How do I identify my Timex watch?
With Timex producing so many different watch models, how do you know what model your vintage watch is? And how can you check if your old watch is a real Timex?
Let’s focus on the first question. How do you identify the model of your old Timex? There are different ways to do this.
- Check the back of the watch. Sometimes the model number is listed there.
- Check the case. The model number will look something like this M231. The letter M followed by three digits.
- If the model number is not visible on the case, the packaging can be a clue. For example, Timex 100 had a resin case and Timex 150 came in a metal case.
- If you have a digital Timex, you can find the model by pressing the “Mode” button repeatedly until the display shows “COMM Mode”.
- Use forums to ask Timex collectors for advice.
Now for the second question. How do you know your watch is a genuine Timex? All old Timex watches have serial numbers which follow this sequence: the first two or three digits show the model and the last two show the year it was produced. Knowing the correct sequence can help you spot a forgery.
If you would like more information on identifying the model of your Timex and to read descriptions with pictures of the most popular old Timex models, we recommend this website.
How old is my Timex quartz?
Determining the age of your vintage Timex watch is relatively easy at least if it was made after 1963. Watches made after 1963 have serial numbers and you can use the steps above to find the serial number. The last two digits tell you the year it was made.
Once you have found the code, you can use this decoding tool to check the date and also the authenticity of your watch. The decoder website advises users that occasionally you might get two dates because the code was repeated over the years. In this case, you can use visual indications and production run dates to work out the date.
So what about watches made before 1963? Luckily, there is a way to date those watches, too. To find the year for older watches with no serial numbers, you need to remove the back of the watch.
Watch this helpful video for more information on how to date your vintage Timex watch, including removing the back.
Are old Timex watches worth anything?
Considering that Timex watches didn’t cost a lot to buy and were produced in large numbers, you are probably wondering if your old Timex is worth anything?
Because Timex watches are less than 100 years old, they are classified as vintage rather than antique. However, certain vintage pieces can sell for good money, providing they still work and are in good condition visually.
So which old Timex watches are likely to bring in the most money?
Hopalong Cassidy Timex
If you are lucky enough to have one of these watches in a saddle watch holder and box, it could be worth around $855. However, if you have the girl’s version, you are looking at a much lower estimate of $60.
Rare Gold-tone Marlin Mechanical Timex
This watch, if in good to perfect visual condition and working well, could be worth $160-$300 dollars. This windup watch dates back to the 1970s and has gold plating on the dial and watch strap.
Timex Water-resistant Mechanical Watch
An original watch from the 80s in good condition could sell for around $120-$200. It has a gold-tone dial and a date display.
Disney Winnie The Pooh/Eeyore/Tigger/Piglet Timex
Over the years, Timex (both before and after the company was renamed Timex) collaborated with Disney several times. This one with Winnie The Pooh and his friends is a popular collectors’ item and can, in good working condition, sell from $200 up to the $300 mark.
Gold-tone Moon Phase Quartz Watch
This Timex watch has a moon phase dial which follows a 24-hour cycle. It shows you where the sun and moon are during the day. A mint condition Moon Phase Quartz watch can be worth over $200.
Vintage Expedition Indiglo 50M Watch
This is one of the most widely known Timex watches and its resale value is around $150. The watch face includes a day and date window and the Expedition logo.
80s Red Dial Timex Watch
This watch, as the name indicates, has a red clock face. It has a silver bracelet watch which makes it look more delicate and even works great as an accessory with party clothes. The clock face also has a date display window. An original Red Dial watch in good condition could be worth $175-$225.
All the above watches, except for the Hopalong Cassidy, are listed on the Vintage Radar website. You can find more details of the watches there as well as some additional vintage Timex watches.
How to sell and buy old Timex watches?
Let’s look at how to sell your old Timex watch first. To get the best price, you need to find the right platform to sell your watch. You could sell directly to dealers, but you are not likely to get the best price since the dealer will want to make a profit on the watch.
A better option is to sell it yourself on ChronoTrader, Ebay, or Catawiki. Before you put your watch up for sale, do your homework so you set your price right. Browse through watches already on sale on the websites mentioned above.
If you are looking to buy a vintage Timex watch, it is best to only buy from reputable dealers, stores or auction houses to ensure the authenticity of the watch. There is a lot of fraud online, so be extra careful if buying on the internet.
Just like with selling, do your homework so you know what you should pay and don’t end up paying over the odds. If buying online, the above websites are a good place to start. When buying from private sellers, it’s good practice to check their feedback before parting with your money.
In conclusion, Timex watches are timepieces with a long and interesting history. They might not be classified as antique yet, but their value is only bound to increase in years to come.
So if you are looking to buy or sell a Timex watch, make sure to check the watch’s age and its model using the steps in this article. Once you know the year and model, you will be able to find its approximate value. Check recent eBay sales prices as well as the watches currently on sale.
If you have any questions about Timex watches, add them in the comments section.