A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 08, 2006
Texas Timex (gold Rolex watch)

A “Texas Timex” is a gold Rolex watch. A Timex is an inexpensive watch; a Rolex is an expensive watch. The joke is how Texans flaunt wealth.
Hans Wilsdorf established a London firm specialising in the distribution of watches.
Wilsdorf registers a brand name with which to sign his creations: ROLEX. Easy to pronounce in any European language, it is short enough to tastefully feature on the dial of a watch.
U.S. Time’s wartime expertise in research and development and advanced mass production techniques led to the creation of the world’s first inexpensive yet utterly reliable mechanical watch movement. The new wristwatch, called the Timex, debuted in 1950. Print advertisements featured the new watch strapped to Mickey Mantle’s bat, frozen in an ice cube tray, spun for seven days in a vacuum cleaner, taped to a giant lobster’s claw, or wrapped around a turtle in a tank. Despite these and other extensive live torture tests, the Timex kept ticking. When John Cameron Swayze, the most authoritative newsman of his time, began extolling the Timex watch in live “torture test” commercials of the late 1950s, sales took off. Taped to the propeller of an outboard motor, tumbling over the Grand Coulee Dam, or held fist first by a diver leaping eighty-seven feet from the Acapulco cliffs, the plucky watch that “takes a licking and keeps on ticking” quickly caught the American imagination. Viewers by the thousands wrote in with their suggestions for future torture tests, like the Air Force sergeant who offered to crash a plane while wearing a Timex watch. By the end of the 1950s, one out of every three watches bought in the U.S. was a Timex brand watch.

Google Groups: misc.survivalism
From:  Chester Bateman
Date:  Mon, Jul 31 1995 12:00 am
I would vote for Rolex as well, my dad is a rancher in Texas and has worn a Rolex everyday for twenty years.  He calls it his Texas Timex 😊
Google Groups: alt.horology
From:  stephen_k_davis
Date:  Mon, Feb 24 1997 12:00 am

Would like any information on the history and present value of a ca.1967 Rolex Presidential “LBJ Commemorative” model.  The watch is gold with a textured bezel.  The bracelet has textured (a soft nugget look?) and polished links.  This watch was called the “Texas Timex” by some and includes all papers and box.  Any information greatly appreciated.
9 September 1985, Chicago Tribune, pg. E1:
You know by his outfit that he is a Texan, for Jim Hightower seldom appears in public without a 10-gallon hat, cowboy boots and jeans.
Between the jeans and the hat, however, Hightower sports duds and accessories appropriate to Washington, D.C.
Up in the nametag landing area, for example, we see a beige buttondown shirt and a gabardine jacket of subdued plaid. His watch is slim and elegant, rather than the chunky gold Rolex preferred by other go-getters in his home state, who like the flash of a good ol’ “Texas TImex.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Friday, September 08, 2006 • Permalink

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