I love it when a watch has digital animation. In the late 80s and early 90s, the big thing was the digital watch with analog hands. Interesting concept that’s so cheap to make. That’s probably why McDonald’s went with this model during a promotion in the early 90s. They came in different colors and I think you had to buy a sandwich to get one. I wish I would’ve eaten more than one sandwich.
This is an interesting find- a Snickers candy bar watch with moving dial. The seconds dial displays Snickers candy bar wrapper designs from 1930-1990. The face is gold with shiny, embossed stars across it and the case and hands are also gold. It has a Japan quartz movement and Mars, inc. 1989 written across the bottom of the face. I’m guessing this was a promotional item celebrating the new design of the wrapper that came out in 1990. I got this from a collector a few months back and it’s in perfect condition. This is definitely the most luxurious-looking advertising watch I have seen. No manufacturer is listed and I can’t find any mention of the promotion on the internet. This is gorgeous in hand.
I remember the early days of eBay when they didn’t have much stuff up yet. At the most there were 200 wristwatches total. Perfect for control freaks like myself who could keep track of everything new that was posted each day. That’s when I found this Mini Cooper 35th Anniversary watch. I haven’t seen one since. What this picture doesn’t show are the three LED lights that blink when you push the button! Red, green and amber tail lights and brake lights flicker on and off in sequence. It came in a wooden box which had a hand-written number on the inside, and Mini Cooper Limited Editionstamped onto the leather band. You’re not completely unlucky if you don’t have one of these. Mini has a few other novelty pieces out there worth checking out like the Sport Chrono or the Carbon Fiber Chrono. Definitely the Carbon Fiber Chrono.
Don’t underestimate the power of the packaging when it comes to wristwatches. Take this Coca-Cola watch, for example. Nothing all that special about the watch itself. It has a typical logo and product image on the face, leather strap and silver case. I wouldn’t have looked at this watch twice if it weren’t for the packaging. Because there are tons of Coca-Cola wristwatches out there, by itself, this watch would not have been special enough for me to acquire. But throw in a creative display like the stuffed polar bear, and the game changes. Now it’s unique and desirable. The added plus is that the polar bear is from an advertising campaign of a known timeframe. I know when I first saw a Coke commercial with a polar bear. I can relate it to a period of my life (first few years out of college). I remember who gave it to me and knew me enough to know I would like it. Now it’s forever meaningful to me and it all started with the packaging.
Unique packaging adds value. Always.
What best to pair with your Chupa Chup cola-flavored lollipop? An airplane trip, of course! That’s why there’s a floating airplane inside this Chupa Chup’s watch. Don’t worry- I didn’t get it at first either. I was at Schipol airport in Amsterdam in 2000 when I found this at the gift shop. I had to buy a 50 pack of Chupa Chups to get the watch. Totally worth it. As any Chronophile knows, the watch is more valuable as the oddity increases. It’s got a quartz movement behind the bubble and Chupa Chups lollipops are pictured on the band. After 8 years the water inside the bubble watch is still full and clear. After 8 years, I’m still giving away Chupa Chups at Halloween.
I had to eat 12 Tony’s pizzas to get this watch. Tony’s is a frozen pizza product that held a promotion for mail order stuff. You saved the Tony’s Points from the package, sent them in and then got free Tony’s stuff. Tony’s still offers mail order premiums but they don’t offer this watch anymore. That’s why it will always have a special place in my heart. Right next to the cholesterol. That’s Tony rotating around on the seconds disc.
This is an early MTV Wristwatch from the 80’s. It’s got a metal case and bracelet in black and a digital face. The face has an image like a TV screen (I just noticed that after having this watch for about 8 years) complete with what appear to be dials or buttons down the right of the TV. The watch has a day indicator at the top with a special feature- a reminder box. The reminder box displays a beating digital heart in the upper right of the LCD. I don’t know for sure but I bet the beating heart reminder came on when MTV was airing a particular show. Headbanger’s Ball, perhaps? I found this at a thrift store in Pennsylvania. I’ve acquired about 5 MTV watches through the years. This is the earliest model I’ve seen.
Perhaps one of the most obscure logos I have seen. Jagermeister uses an orange-tinted gleaming cross above the head of a stag. It means hunt-master and the glowing image is in tribute to Saint Hubertus, patron saint of hunters, among other things. How fitting then to use the logo on a promotional wristwatch. It came in a metal case emblazoned also with the logo. The case is stainless and the band is leather. My favorite part is the knurled crown on the end of the stem. Makes it seem more rugged. Go Germany. They always pay attention to detail. Want one? eBay seems to have many.
Another great example of a novelty wristwatch. This Bud Light digital watch is shaped like a can and it runs on beer! Thanks to the joys of a wet cell battery, you can actually soak this watch in beer (or any other liquid) and it will power up the digital display. I love this watch because it has two things going for it- the shape and the functionality. I would’ve bought it just for the shape, but throw in the fact that I can soak it in beer and now I’m looking for my Frat Rock CD and a 40 of Natty Light! I found this on eBay not too long ago. Wet cell battery power is a very old technology. Watches that run on water were a novelty in the mid to late 90’s. I don’t know how or where this watch was offered. It could’ve been a promotion or it could’ve been sold at a brewery or on-line store. You will have a hard time finding one now. Check eBay.
Pop-up watches are very collectable. In the 80’s and 90’s, there were many floating around. This watch was a mail order promotional item from DelMonte. DelMonte teamed up with Alvin and the Chipmunks , who at the time, had a cartoon show. It’s interesting in a couple ways. First, the pop-up button is the DelMonte snack cup that Alvin is holding. Next, incorporating the cartoon holding the product is a great marketing idea. I saw this same watch in a thrift store in Texas with a $45 price tag on it. That was in 1999 and it surprised me back then. Once again, if you come across a promotion for a wristwatch such as this one, try to get more than one.