Almost every home in America has a junk drawer. It’s where we pitch loose screws, our mail and small things that we intend to get repaired one day. Chances are, if you open your drawer, you’ll find an old watch or two that has stopped functioning and been relegated to its depths. Or perhaps you’ve recently inherited a watch but don’t know if it’s still in fashion.
Here are the top five watches of yesterday that are still worn, and even produced, today:
The Swatch Group released its first watch to the public in 1983, making that original watch almost 30 years old. Do you remember the jelly band watches in high school and trading swatch watch guards with your friends? Swatches are still as popular today as they ever were! With dozens of new styles coupled with new technology, the Swatch brand still screams reliability.
If you’re aching to relive days gone by, you can find old Swatches all over the net. From the fiercely popular Pop Swatch to those great Swatches with the interchangeable bands, going retro is easy and, best of all: cool!
Fossil came onto the scene just a year after Swatch and initially lacked the popularity of the larger company. However, Fossil quickly gained ground, outshining Swatch in many ways. Concentrating on cool, fashionable watches, with sturdy metal or leather bands and colorful watch faces.
Since its inception, Fossil has continued to improve the technology of its watches while keeping prices affordable for the average consumer.
Since the 1850s, Timex has been making reliable time pieces for the American public. Starting with mantle clocks, the company introduced its first wristwatch to soldiers in 1917. The watch quickly caught on and people all over the country have been choosing Timex as their preferred brand of watch for almost 100 years.
Did you know that Timex gained an exclusive license with Disney in 1933? In a few years’ time, over two million children were wearing the original Mickey Mouse watch which only set their parents back $1.50. Try finding an original Mickey Mouse watch for that price today!
Started in 1881, Seiko, like Timex, found its beginning in the clock. Over time, Seiko moved from clocks to pocket watches too finally, in 1913, the first wristwatch made in Japan. Seiko made a name for itself throughout the world when it released the first quartz watch, the “Seiko Quartz Astron” in 1969.
Seiko continued to be an innovator in the timepiece industry releasing the first six digit LCD quartz watch in 1973, the first multifunction digital watch and first titanium diving watch in 1975 and, in 1984, the first watch with computer function.
Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis, the first Rolex watches were sold to jewelry makers in London and stamped with the jeweler’s name. The name “Rolex” was trademarked in 1908 and registered in 1915. Since its humble beginnings, Rolex has come to stand for class, luxury and reliability.
Like Seiko, Rolex is credited with many firsts: the waterproof wristwatch, an automatically changing date on the face, a waterproof case to 330 feet and the first watch to include two time zones.
If you pull any one of these brands out of your junk drawer, go and get it repaired! A great watch repair shop can do more than simply replace your battery; they can restore your watch to its original condition, making it virtually brand new. Not only will you have a fashionable wristwatch, you may just have a valuable one as well.
Author Tanya Peterson resides in NYC and is a content contributor for watchrepairny.com, a Manhattan provider of fine watch repair services since 1978. Tanya’s grandfather was in the antique watch business and it’s been a fascination with her since childhood.