Rule #1: You Can’t Kill Michael Douglas’ Wife (A Weekend Project)


Have you looked at any kids lately?

I mean really looked at them.

Have you noticed anything different?


They don't wear watches.


Ask someone under 25 for the time and they'll pull out a cellphone.

If they do own a watch, they got it as a gift.

Young people aren't buying them.

And they truly don't care about them.

Now if you are the owner of Timex, or Swatch you gotta be concerned.

You don't want to go the way of the landline.

So for this post I'm placing you in charge of Timex.

You have a well-known brand, distribution all over the world but the future doesn't need you.

How Do you Save Your Company?

Place your suggestions in the comments.

And Rule #2: You can't hurt Michael Douglas either.

Explore posts in the same categories: big business, branding, Michael Douglas, T-Mobile, timex, watches, young people

41 Comments on “Rule #1: You Can’t Kill Michael Douglas’ Wife (A Weekend Project)”

  1. VampireFeet Says:

    Astute observation.
    I am 27 and have never bought a watch.
    The point of watches is to help you manage time.
    Maybe they need to make a watch that actually does that.

  2. VampireFeet Says:

    But I think they call those PDAs 🙂

  3. Usayd Says:

    I have a watch and a PDA and i’m 16 – generalisation is what you call it ^^

  4. Mary Boyd Says:

    I’ll be thinking about this problem all weekend!
    Can I at least hit Michael Douglas?

  5. chartreuse Says:

    generalisation is what you call it
    So are watches too general? That's kinda interesting…
    And no, Mary, hitting MD is not allowed either 🙂

     And what are you doing with a PDA at 16?!?!

  6. Diane Ensey Says:

    1. Co-brand a cellphone with one of the major cellphone players.
    2. Create a viral trend with limited edition watches (similar to what Swatch did)
    3. Create a line of watches where the case and strap designs can be created by the user, on-line. Offer four or five case shapes and the same number of band widths. Designs can be printed on the bands or laser-etched onto the case. Hmmm, I like this one.

  7. chartreuse Says:

    Good ideas Diane. Timex is doing none of them.

    For those taking this seriously (and you all should!) , take a good look at the Timex site.

    They are activly trying to sponsor events.
    They have licensed their name to other timing devices.
    They have watches designed by famous designers.

    But no traction among the youth.

  8. sell it and use the cash to buy a golf tee time company 🙂

  9. What about hitting his wife:)

  10. I take that back – that was stupid and I forgot the title of your article.

    They need to do a premium deal with a cellular company and get the watches back out there.

    Using blue ray, the phone can sit in your pocket and your timex either lights or vibrates so people can drive and walk in the malls without bumping into everything.

    It becomes a SAFETY PLAY! Take time out of the equation.

  11. The problem with Timex is that they have no sense of bling. Known as a low end brand by youth, if known at all. They need to produce a line of hign end gold watches, send them to rappers. Additionally, they should produce a special one for Flav, and then be the exclusive sponsor of his show.


  12. Liz Strauss Says:

    I’d find a way to embed a watch in the bottom of a pair of really cool running shoes under some clear protective shield. Then, I’d do the same with other sports gear . . . and I’d start a campaign



  13. Robert Bruce Says:

    Cut a deal with Apple for the upcoming iPhone.


  14. Personally, I quit wearing a watch when I quit smoking .. to balance my arms out from not holding a cigarette in my hand anymore … But – if I were to wear a watch again …

    1) it would have to have at least 2 gig HD embedded and attachment ear plug or speakers for mp3 play

    2) it would also have GPS built in

    3) The whole watch would be the entire thing that goes around your wrist .. instead of the wristband wasting space on your wrist .. so no matter how your arm is positioned, the clock would be virtual 3D anywhere you look .. and the wristband would be microthin too.

    4) There would be no crystal to smash, because there are no visible mechanical pieces sticking off the wristband .. and finally, since I practically invented it..

    5) It should have some magnetic healing powers for people who have carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis.

  15. i’m 23, wear a watch, never a timex though. The watch is more of a fashion accessory anyway, as I’ve always got my cell on me. No one I know has a timex, lots of people have fossil’s though, not the greatest quality brand, but they try to mimick the style of more expensive brands.

    I would like to see a liquid-paper lcd screen/watch on the BACK of my cell phone that is always on or at least i don’t have to activate my phone to see the time.

    I agree with the gadget necessity for the watches though, soon they have to build a cell phone into one of them, have it coupled with a bluetooth headset too. I’ve already got a heart monitor watch, why not a cell watch?

    conversely, does the lack of watches on kids hinder their time telling skills? I know i am not a huge fan of analog clocks (even my car has one!)

  16. Anthony Says:

    I haven’t worn a watch for years and all my mates ask why and I always answer like you mention with the cell phone doing the job. Though I do ocasionally look longingly at the TAG Heuers in magazines ads and windows of stores. They are just style personified.

    Though with with your marketing makeover challenge to attract the under 25’s I’d go the gadget route with watches being synched with a Google calendar like app, like event database and MySpace like social networking tool. This way the watch extends it’s primary function of getting you places on time.

  17. Matt Says:

    I must be weird than – I’m 32 and wear a Nike Lance 4 watch.

    Then again, I cycle 20-30 miles a day.


  18. just change the name to
    EX – “Who let the Time out!”

    I hope you get paid for my ideas 🙂

  19. Ronnie Says:

    The thing about cell phones as time pieces is they only tell the time when you decide to take them out of our pocket or purse and look at them. The big benefit of a watch is its always in view. So make the watch a connection to the cell or PDA or whatever — change the interface so it not only tells the time but also lets you know when you’ve got a new e-mail, or if there’s a new post on your favorite blog, or there’s a voicemail message for you. Make the watch an extension of your personal wireless network.

  20. chartreuse Says:

    i think the key is to make them more personal.

    this is the age of personalization.

    so the winner is Diane!

    but most of the ideas were good. but you guys already know that…

    thanks for playing!

  21. Diane Ensey Says:

    Yippee! But seriously, I like the idea of laser etching/printing on watches.

  22. David Krug Says:

    Sell it, give it to my girlfriend and cut my losses. Not all ideas are worth saving. Watches are so 1.0.

  23. Scrivs Says:

    Umm actually if you are hip you understand the point of a watch is fashion accessory. Don’t tell me people don’t buy watches when everyone in the club has them when I go out (which is almost every night). Timex isn’t in troulbe since I saw them more as a fitness type of watch. Usher didn’t pay $80k for something to tell the time.

    So if I am Timex I start creating more fashionable watches. That’s all.

  24. fred Says:

    i’ve never worn a watch.

    it’s uncomfortable and there are better ways of finding out the time.

    it’s great to see them go the way of the horse whip.

  25. Liz Strauss Says:

    If I had $80 to spend on a watch, I’d hire a guy named Usher for 40K and ask him what time it is. Then use the other 40K to go out dancing with Chartreuse and Scrivs.

  26. Watches are coming back huge – too many bears!

  27. Juan Del Pueblo Says:

    Sell a “Dick Tracy” type watch. That way they can still do the cellie thing and see their friends.

  28. Pete Says:

    I think young people don’t wear watches because their parents and grandparents do.

    Reinvent the watch as a form factor, rather than a device. Create stylish PDAs, cell phones, music players, and flash storage devices that you wear on your wrist.

    Only make sure it does not look like your father’s watch.

  29. Rickster Says:

    I have a Timex. It is one of the newer ones. With the perpetual calnedar and 7 year battery. It also lights up when you press the button on the side. It is the most expensive Timex I have ever owned at $80.00. But, I like it, it is more convenient to look at your wrist for the time than to have to whip out a cell phone or Ipod.

  30. Taylor Says:

    People wear watches for two main reasons:
    1) Fashion
    2) Functionality

    1) Fashion- as a watch maker, you ride with the fashion times. Either make certain types of watches that are fashionable, or live with just the overall “watches are hip” or “watches are not hip” fashion trend (who’s to say watches won’t be thought of as old-fashioned in 10 years?)

    2) Functionality- this you can control- provide functions on watches that other time devices (phones, pds, etc.) do not provide. Example- heart rate monitors, altitute, pressure, etc. (watches provide things from hikers, mountaineers, divers, etc., that phones cannot provide).

    Selling the generic watch is a tough sell, and is only going to get tougher, as you pointed out.

    – Personally, I’m 29, I hate wearing a watch, but it serves valuable purposes at certain times…

  31. Frank Says:

    Great thread. I used to work at a watch company and from what I have gathered about the posts, watches mean different things to different people… Some people don’t like watches. Others will wear watches for a bunch of reasons.

    Timex is an entry level brand with a primary time-keeping function. People buy Timex watches because they are inexpensive and get the job done.

    Other people buy watches as a fashion accessory which have an affiliation to a brand and these folks try to match them with their clothes. Fossil, Kenneth Cole, DKNY, Anne Klein, Diesel, and Emporio Armani are perfect examples of watches that are styled to match and affordable enough for people to buy multiple watches…

    Other people buy for affiliation like a sports watch (Polar and Nike lead the way here) or a Surf/Skate watch (from Nixon or others). Others buy a watch to convey their status (those that buy Tag Heur’s, Oakley, Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, and more luxurious).

    Some people by or get watches as gifts from family/friends for big occasions, like graduation, marriage, etc. I’ve received one for graduation and then marriage. I am in my late 30s.

    I like the posts from Diane to make them more personal or Pete to “re-invent” the watch as a form factor. Anthony talks about integrating it into a social network. I like Brian’s post to integrate some type of technology into a watch and make it some kind of tech device. These are all great ideas and I think that some folks are working on these new types of watches. Stay tuned.

  32. berk Says:

    Too many comments, too lazy to read to see if I’m repeating.

    Howard, Blue Ray = high def dvd, blue tooth = radio transmission.

    Make watches look like those rubber/plastic bracelets charities give out. Give it an OLED skin to display scrolling time and incoming messages from a blue tooth device, or it could display some customized text or graphics. Give it an RFID transmitter linked to your credit card so you can pay for junk at enabled vending machines without needing change. I smell a Coke and Swatch merger.

  33. chris Says:

    Great comments. I’ve been making a patented watch for a few years that has a magnifying lens and LED light built in. You can see it at It’s mostly for baby boomers but Wild Planet sells a version under their Spy Gear brand. We’re working on some new stuff and a web site that allows you to design custom watches and they are assembled here in the USA. It will be at Watches just need to work harder.

  34. Nero Says:

    LOL KIDS! Sigh!

    P.S all worship my site!

  35. Bobo Says:

    1. They are fashion accessories. (Some) watches look nice.
    2. They can be glanced a hell of a lot easier than a cell phone, especially when…
    3. you aren’t carrying your cell phone (like when I’m traveling and my cell phone doesn’t work so thankfully I don’t have to carry it).
    4. It’s less rude to look at your watch than to pull out your cell phone.
    5. Really, why NOT have a watch? It provides a convenience, and no hassle.

  36. Luke Archer Says:


    Great minds think alike. I designed a prototype for 3 years ago.

    I have been doing designs for watch companies since 1999. My favorite watch is the iBeam line of watches. They are more than a watch- they built a high powered pop-up magnifying lens and a really bright LED flashlight into their watches. I use the light in the watch daily and the lens comes in hand when you want to burn ants or read the small print.

    I agree with #1 of the Bobo post. To me watches are a fashion accessory. We have been developing matching watch/shirt sets lately which are a lot of fun.

    What is amazing about the watch business, is the wide variety of profit margins. I see watches that sell from $250,000 all the way down to $19.95. I have also worked on a lot of development and it is really hard to put more than about $200 of components and parts into a watch. Basically, a $250K watch generates about $249.75K in profits.

  37. Luke you are wrong, a $250k watch does not cost $200 to manufacture…. In any event watches are relics of the past and are best forgotten, it’s like pocket watches they had their time. No one want’s to carry around more than they have to and a watch has become unecessary and as such has been consigned to the history books.

  38. DudeAsInCool Says:

    Diane: Create a line of watches where the case and strap designs can be created by the user, on-line. Offer four or five case shapes and the same number of band widths. Designs can be printed on the bands or laser-etched onto the case.


    This is the clear winner. Watches should become accessories to other products like the IPod.

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  40. […] You may not have noticed but people have started throwing away their watches. […]

  41. edu blog Says:

    Great post. this is what I looking for, thanks

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