Timex took a light jab at Apple’s smartwatches with a new billboard in New York City.
“Know the time without seeing you have 1,249 unanswered emails,” it reads.
Timex was founded in 1854, but Apple disrupted the watch market with its Watch series starting in 2015.

Apple may be the leader in the smartwatch market, but a longer-time player wants to remind you of the joys of analog watches.

Timex is promoting a new watch with a New York City billboard. The $140 watch, a collaboration with the Brooklyn-based clothing company Adsum, is currently sold out. But the ad’s message lives on.

“Know the time without seeing you have 1,249 unanswered emails,” reads the sleek, minimalist billboard, apparently referring to Apple’s Watch that displays your notifications on your wrist.

Timex was founded in 1854 and has become a global household name for traditional watches. But Apple gave consumers a very different product with its series of smartwatches starting in 2015.

However, there is something that traditional watches haven’t given us that smartwatches may have: notification anxiety.

Smartwatches deliver a slew of real-time health data like heart rhythm to you right to your wrist and can cause obsessive self-monitoring, as Digital Trends reported in late 2021.

But that hasn’t stopped Apple watch from being a hit, even though it wasn’t always — it struggled to appeal to people for the first year or so into its presence on the market.

Then Apple changed its strategy to gear the Watch more towards fitness — a tool to track one’s physical health while also staying on top of regular iPhone alerts — instead of mere fashion or luxury. The Watch Series 2, for example, rolled out in 2016 and came with GPS that you could use without your smartphone. 

The fitness focus caused the Apple Watch to skyrocket in popularity, and it leapfrogged Rolex as the number one watch in the world in mid-2017.

Apple has since blown past legacy Swiss watch companies, like Swatch, TAG Heuer, and others, who are struggling to compete with the phone giant’s hit fitness-oriented smartwatch.

Apple shipped an estimated 31 million units in 2019, versus the 21 million shipments from Swiss watch brands, research firm Strategy Analytics said in an early 2020 report.

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