If you want to be a part of the next phase of watch collecting trends, consider this a tip: watches tied to beverages. We’ve already seen limited editions paying tribute to the negroni and the King of Beers this year, and now Timex is getting in on the act with a trio of watches inspired by a famous Coca-Cola ad campaign from 1971. So if you can remember when Coke taught the world to sing, or if you’re just a fan of retro Timex design and carbonated sugar water, this one might be for you.
It should go without saying that you don’t actually need to have a real memory of the Coca-Cola “Hilltop” commercial to get all the references here. It’s one of the most famous advertisements of all time, has been endlessly replayed and parodied, and – spoiler warning for something that aired six years ago – it figured prominently in the instantly iconic series finale of Mad Men. The clip features a cadre of singing hippies proclaiming from a hilltop, in perfect harmony, that all they want to do is bring peace to the world in troubled times, and that, perhaps, buying your neighbor an ice cold Coca-Cola could be the answer. The minute long commercial was a sensation, and was both genuinely loved by many at the time, and seen as evidence that the counterculture had finally been co-opted and neutered by capitalism.
The watches introduced this week by Timex certainly don’t need to bear the weight of the expectations and mistakes of an entire generation. These are simply affordable, fun, throwbacks that pay tribute to the original spirit of the ad campaign. Officially dubbed the 1971 Unity Collection, what we have here are a T80 with colorful artwork inspired by the ad on the dial, a Q featuring a rainbow and the word “Peace” at its center, and a Timex Standard with a giant Coca-Cola wordmark (and a dove) running from 9:00 to 6:00. Oh, and the T80 also plays the melody from the commercial at the push of a button.
There’s plenty of variety here in a series of Timex watches that are likely already familiar to most. The Timex Standard is perhaps the least enthusiast focused watch of the group, but this is a handsome enough design with a 40mm case and Indiglo backlight. It’s also the most in-your-face in terms of branding, with the Coca-Cola logo being completely unmistakable even at a quick glance. The Q falls somewhere in the middle with respect to feeling like a novelty item, but it’s probably the most well-worn Timex of the moment – there have been a lot of Q releases since it was reissued a few years ago. The T80 has plenty of Coca-Cola branding, but much of it is hidden in the multi-colored design, and you have to go looking for it. It feels to me like the most creative (and colorful) take on the theme.
The 1971 Unity Collection is available for purchase right now from Timex. Retail pricing is set at $189 for the Q, $89 for the T80, and $99 for the Timex Standard. Timex