Back before the days of Google and eBay, I would spend hours thinking of products, going to their website and checking for paraphenelia. This was the only way I knew to find advertising and promotional wristwatches. Once in a while, I would get lucky. This is one of the first watches I found by scouring product manufacturer’s websites. This is the 75th Anniversary of Land O’ Lakes commemorative wristwatch. It was available with a black or brown leather strap directly from the website. I think I paid $50 or more for this, which was a little steep in 1996. They used the original advertising artwork of the Indian maiden on the face of the watch and on the cardboard box. It also came with a booklet describing the brand and the original advertisement. I was impressed by the quality of the watch and the detail in the booklet. This watch stands out from other advertising watches of the same timeframe because it was not a cheap, plastic Swatch knock-off with a logo stamped on the dial. I’m sorry, Tony’s Pizza watch...you know it’s true.
It’s cool when a watch tells you something more than just the time. One of my watches reads You Smell Great when I push the indiglo button. This Reunification of Hong Kong 1997 watch tells the history of Hong Kong. The watch was made before the expiration of the British 99-year lease over Hong Kong and several other territories. The lease expired June 30, 1997 and China was ready to celebrate with high-quality wristwatches. The watch comes in a tin, with a gold pin showing a skyline of Hong Kong, and a booklet explaining the history of this special event. This quartz watch by SAGA is really nice and beefy, and the styling reminds me of Kobold. It has a leather strap, stainless case and a date window at 6 o’clock. I got this from a collector this past year. Hong Kong exists under China and the “One country, two systems” policy, and as stated in the booklet, this will go on for 50 years. What the hell is going to happen in 2047? I guess we’ll find out when the Assimilation of Hong Kong wristwatch comes out in 2046.
I got this from my friend Melinda. She worked at HIghlights and won this in a contest. Tommy’s hands mark the hour and minutes and his dog rotates around on the seconds disc. The band is green canvas weave with leather and the watch is quartz. I don’t really know how old this is but I would guess mid to late 1990s. It’s in perfect condition. There are a few on eBay every so often for about $40. If your looking for something like this, try a Paul Frank instead. Equally colorful but admitedly, not as nostalgic.
I’m sure you’ve seen exercise or weight loss contraptions that you’re pretty sure don’t work but people seem to buy them anyway? I knew the Old Navy Calorie Counter probably wasn’t going to work when I spied it in the half-price basket at the checkout. Doesn’t matter. Had to have it. Would’ve paid $15 for it. If you’re a true Chronophile, you know why we do this. Does it matter that the “pedometer” doesn’t move regularly when I walk? No. Does it matter that the battery was dead beforeI bought it? Nope. Does it matter that the word Calometer written across the front is either misspelled or not a word at all? You know the answer. This only makes the watch more valuable and more of a novelty. What matters is that they tried. They tried to make an inexpensive yet gadgety wristwatch. I would much rather watch the mechanical flickering of the pedometer on the front of this watch than the Tech4o Traileader count it out digitally. But that really comes down to personal preference. Just like why you chose to put the neon yellow sport grips on your NordicTrack.
Don’t put neon yellow sport grips on your NordicTrack.
It’s hard to believe, but the prizes in cereal boxes used to be better. This is one of the good ones from 20 years ago. It might seem like an easy catch- buy the cereal and you’re guaranteed the watch, right? Not so easy in my household. Cereal was either bran flakes, cornflakes or puffed rice. I must’ve been a good whiner because I was able to convince my parents to buy the sugar stuff on this occasion. A classic 80’s children’s watch style was the one piece plastic band and case combo, with a bezel-like plastic ring to hold the face and digital works. The Honeycomb promotional wristwatch came in three colors: red, blue and yellow. I got the blue one in the box and this red one on eBay, years later. Honeycomb did another wristwatch promotion in the 90’s with a slightly more up to date plastic design. I’m thinking they’re due for another one this decade. As cool as I thought the Honeycomb watch was, it didn’t compare to the Golden Grahams promotional watch. I’m telling you it was the precursor to the Casio Film. I had the Golden Grahams watch for a short time before my brother lost it while mowing someone’s lawn. I’m still looking for it in peoples lawns across the state.
Many watches earn the title of Novelty. Some deserve it and some don’t. The Sea-Monkey Aquarium Watch earns this title with honors. Why? No one else thought it would be a good idea to make a portable aquarium for brine shrimp that you can wear on your wrist. They thought of everything. The aquarium part is removable and simply twist-locks onto the front of the digital watch. A Sea-Monkey extractor tool is provided for grabbing the little guys from their habitat and putting them into the aquarium. I got this for Christmas in 1999 and I have actually worn it with the Sea-Monkeys inside. They survived. Bravo Sea-Monkey people for thinking of us. Novelty Chronophiles salute you. You can get a Sea-Monkey wrist aquarium but it doesn’t have the watch on it anymore. It’s available from Amazon.
There’s a million Spiro Agnew and Nixon’s “I’m no crook” watches out there. I’ve seen one in almost every thrift store and they can always be found on eBay. When I last checked, there were a total of 9 Spiro Agnew watches of 5 different types. Other past presidents, thus far, don’t have the same showing when it comes to political apparel. That’s why I snagged this watch on eBay a few years ago. This is a perfect example of 80’s style digital watches. Chunky, square metal case, a clean, blocky face and a mesh band. This watch couldn’t have been worn to be in such good condition. The mesh band hasn’t bent or stretched, the case is unmarred and the LCD hasn’t bled. Not bad after 28 years. Too bad I can’t say that about the GOP. Clinton’s growing nose or backwards time might be easier to find in 8 years. I’m talking about the watches- what did you think I was talking about?
Two things Radio Shack might have in stock when you go there- the Talking Alarm wristwatch and the DJ Rapper Game watch! Hello! And you thought all they had to offer was every TV connector you don’t need and a boatload of LED lights! This is a rarity among rarities. The yellow circular thing on the side of this watch is a record so you can scratch along to a beat. This watch has digital animation of records scratching, DJ’s spinning, and it that’s not good enough, you can play a game! The record and a light at the top of the watch flicker on and off when you scratch or play the game. I can’t really understand what it’s saying to me when the music is playing. About all I can make out is wiggidy, wiggidy, wack! Good luck finding one of these. No seriously- good luck. I wish this beauty to grace your collection!
In Europe, the KitKat candy bar is different from the one that is sold in the United States. I like this watch because I didn’t see it promoted in the US. I got it from England where I know we’re talking about a whole different kind of candy. Watches in tins are valuable to me, so I had to have then when I ran across it. The band is black and red faux leather and the face is oval with the KitKat logo on it. The manufacturer isn’t listed but I can tell you that the quality is pretty good. The case is metal and sturdy and the movement is quartz. It had warranty papers with it but absolutely no indication of brand. The only piece of info is that the service center has an address in the U.K. Because of this watch, I like England all over again.
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.