Timex expands licensing for non-watch products

First, there were Timex watches, then Timex sunglasses. Soon, there may be Timex cell phones, smoke detectors, even luggage and tire gauges. That’s because Timex, America’s best-selling watch brand, has signed with IMG Licensing to handle “select licensing and merchandising arrangements” for the “Timex” and Timex “Indiglo” trademarks.

The announcement was made March 25 in New York by Helen Prial, vice president of Timex Licensing Corporation, and Neal Seideman, vice president of IMG Licensing, the world’s largest trademark and licensing company.

“Timex has a 98% brand awareness in the United States and is recognized for providing well-designed products at an affordable price,” says Prial. “In addition, for the last half-century, Timex has been supported by strong marketing initiatives. Licensing is the logical next step to expand the brand’s reputation to other areas of consumer interest.”

Timex has already been licensing its name, on its own, for several years to a few products, including decorative and alarm clocks, medical thermometers, sunglasses, and (in Japan) clothing. Based on those successes, Timex Corp., working with IMG, is expanding its licensing opportunities to a wider range of product and service categories, It is, however, careful about whom it will do business with, “focusing on categories where precision and durability—hallmarks of the Timex brand—are seen as positive attributes,” says company spokesman Jim Katz.

“Licensed products carrying the Timex and Indiglo brands will be both dependable and affordable while also fitting in with today’s fashionable trends,” says Seideman.

Plans call for using the “Timex” and “Indiglo” names on products and services in portable communication devices (PDAs, cell phones, GPS systems, and MP3s) and home equipment (air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, heaters, fans, thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and pest repellants).

Other possiblities, says IMG, include luggage, automotive devices (tire gauges, air compressors, battery chargers, inverters, and converters), tools and hardware (measuring tape dispensers, stud finders, calibration tools for surveying, and construction calculators).