The Timex IRONMAN Watch got its first major upgrade in 1992 with the installation of INDIGLO – an electroluminescence dial that glows brightly like a full moon at the touch of a button. The technology had been used in clocks to that point by other companies, but Timex was the first to adapt it to watch size. Indiglo proved a resounding success and set a new standard in watch illumination. It offered midnight runners, Spelunkers, movie-goers, fishermen, campers and security guards safe, bright illumination at fractional battery power.
Electroluminescence, the technology behind Indiglo works by converting electricity directly into light, other manufacturers use a less efficient incandescent bulb that converts electricity into heat which is then converted into light.
When first released, the high demand for the technology led Timex to invent new technologies such as “Night-Mode”, which provides three seconds of illumination at the touch of a button, offering a battery-efficient and practical solution for runners in countries with dark winters. In 1993, the Indiglo Night-Light received recognition as one of the best products from both Fortune and Business Week and Timex soon integrated Indiglo into 65 percent of it’s watch models.
INDIGLO watches have now been around long enough for the circulation of stories and urban myths. In one such case, INDIGLO ‘s abilities were demonstrated in a literal sense, in the mayhem following the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. An investment analyst from Arizona used the Indiglo of his Timex IRONMAN Watch to assist a group of people down 40 flights of stairs in darkness and smoke.
It is alleged that INDIGLO has also become indispensable for moviegoers. Some have even formed their own rating systems. “Thumbs down” is indicated by three flashes of your INDIGLO , four flashes means “it’s your turn to go and get the popcorn”, not only that, but it also comes in handy when locating your separated partner once the movie has started.
Every so often, a product will come along that defies the notions of status that so commonly rule the world of fashion and attains success simply because it works. Timex INDIGLO is case in point.