The British Open and Watches - The Classic Watch Buyers Club Ltd

The British Open and Watches

Golf presents a unique issue to watchmakers. The sudden shock and repeated strain on the movement could easily break many watches. It also though presented a great opportunity to market their build quality and the first to jump onboard was the then all American made Timex.



They already had the tag line “Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking” all they needed to do was get a golfer on board for a magazine write up. In 1940s and 50s Timex embarked on a marketing plan that would see their watches tested by athletes. Mickey Mantle, who played number 7 for the New York Yankees, strapped a Timex to his bat and returned a fastball. Despite the huge amount of strain placed on the watch it survived, this feat was similarly matched when it was strapped to the wrist of the boxer Rocky Marciano and survived a training session. The Olympic skater Barbara Ann Scott was also used as an example of the strain that the watch could survive. For many though the most important was the Ben Hogan advert.


It featured the American golfer and proudly shouted that a Timex could survive 100,000 golf swings. Whilst a watch being able to survive a boxer, baseball swing or skating routine is impressive they’re not as common place as a golf outing. As such the Timex Marlin sold very well with those that frequented courses. This Ben Hogan link really sold the strength of the Marlin and Timex’s place as an affordable but capable watch for the everyman, but also a watch, specifically, for golfers.


Times change though and Timex’s heyday as the golfers watch can only be seen in the rear view mirror. In just a couple of years Rolex had become the dominant force at The Open. With golfers spotted wearing Gold Day Dates. The ‘Big Three’ Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus all ended up in partnership with Rolex. It was Arnold who took the plunge first and became the first official sponsor in 1967. Since then, more and more golfers have ended up in partnership with Rolex and other luxuries brand. Seve Ballesteros even did a full-page advert for Rolex and to this day Rolex remains the official time keeper of the Open.



Even as Rolex sits on its laurels though new technology has led to the average player adopting the habit of wearing watches specifically made for golf. Many smart watch brands and fitness trackers have jumped at the opportunity to cater to this demographic. Few though went as all in as Tag Heuer who have released Limited Edition Golf watches. The Tag Heuer Connected Modular Golf Special Edition is one of the best watches for a golf fan. The software included can track your performance on over 40,000 golf courses. In a crowded field of smart watches and fitness trackers the Tag Heuer Connected is the best of the best for any golf fan.




We currently have a 2019 Golf Special Edition Tag Heuer for sale at CWBC and you can find all the details below.

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