Timex X Peanuts – The Missing Watch

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Timex X Peanuts 70th Anniversary

Back in the day, Peanuts was HUGE. For 50 years, Charles M. Schultz’s cast of cartoon characters – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, Woodstock and more – captured the public imagination. Starting in his hometown newspaper, Schultz’s work spread into books, TV, popular music and a Broadway play. Over time, Peanuts’ popularity faded. I don’t think Timex was expecting the enormous reception given their Timex X Peanuts watches. The star is, of course . . .

Snoopy.

Timex X Peanuts Valentine's Day

While Wikipedia lauds Peanuts for its “philosophical, psychological, and sociological overtones,” Charlie Brown’s beagle stole the show. Although he started out as a sarcastic canine – who failed to recognize Charlie Brown as his owner – Snoopy evolved into a free spirit celebrating life’s simple joys.

Timex X Peanuts Charlie Brown

Out of Timex X Peanuts’ 24 watches, 22 feature the big-nosed beagle. Only two are Snoopy-less; one featuring Charlie Brown trying to fly his kite (a.k.a., Sisyphean torture), the other showing an uncharacteristically carefree Brown (with his arms for watch hands).

Charlie Brown was the poster child for existential angst and crippling self-doubt. He wouldn’t be surprised at Snoopy’s supremacy. He would have taken [temporary] solace in the watch that shows him dancing with his four legged friend.

Be that as it may, the Snoopy X Peanuts watches lack a suitable depiction of Snoopy’s earliest and most powerful incarnation: as a World War I fighter pilot.

Timex X Peanuts Snoopy Flying Ace

Oh sure, Snoopy’s wearing his goggle-clad helmet and scarf in the Timex X Peanuts Snoopy Flying Ace watch. But he’s standing there like a lemon (as the Brits are wont to say), rather than duking it out in the skies over France with his arch enemy, The Red Baron (a.k.a., Manfred von Richthofen).

Timex X Peanuts Snoopy Christmas

And there’s the canine pilot on the Snoopy Christmas watch chauffeuring Woodstock and one of his feathered friends atop a gigantic toy sack (as if a doghouse didn’t present enough of an aerodynamic challenge). Where’s Snoopy as the World War I Ace in combat against The Red Baron?

That was a BIG THING back in the day. Snoopy’s courage and dogged (yes dogged) determination in his imaginary dogfights (yes dogfights) against the German (yes German) fighter pilot was the subject of hundreds of Peanuts comic strips. Snoopy’s never-give-up-the-fight message inspired countless children and adults worldwide.

Snoopy’s post arial combat howl – Curse You Red Baron! – became a catchphrase for anyone bested by a rival. The 1966 song Snoopy vs. The Red Baron was an enormous hit. As was the follow up: The Return of the Red Baron.

I would buy a Timex X Peanuts watch if it had the image above on its face. I don’t think I’m alone in that. Snoopy-as-fighter-pilot hasn’t lost potency over time.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

In 2015, five years after Peanuts ended, a comic book compendium of Snoopy’s battles against The Red Baron was a runaway hit (cover above).

The next year, a WildWorks video game put Charlie Brown’s dog back behind the controls of his imaginary Sopwith Camel. Like this . . .

That image – Snoopy’s paws at the controls, scarf flying, his mind lost in an elaborate delusion – is a more PC proposition than the book cover, what with Snoopy’s gritted teeth and flying bullets. But hey, I’ll take it! Well I would if I could, but I can’t.

The image of a combat canine isn’t PC enough for our woke times. A picture of the Snoopster trying to shoot a German out of the sky, cursing his enemy or reflecting over the day’s fighting over a frosty mug of beer? Fuhgeddaboutit. Lest we forget, Snoopy’s a white dog. His dogfighting was a battle for white supremacy. Obviously.

Charlie Brown Good Grief

Snoopy the fighter pilot a cis dog too far for Timex? True story. Check this from today’s watchpro.com:

Timex is using its #WeDontStop tag on a global campaign full of optimism for a world emerging from the pandemic mixed with messages of inclusion and inspiration delivered by influencers from across the social and professional spectrum.

Snoopy stamp

Snoopy the fighter pilot in action was good enough for the U.S. Post Office (albeit in 2001). But it’s not good enough for Timex, an American-owned company marketing watches made in China’s communist dictatorship (American Documents excepted) under the banner of “inclusion.”

I haven’t mentioned the OMEGA Snoopy watches (one of which is selling for a staggering $99k). For good reason. As brave as astronauts are, Snoopy’s World I arial exploits were more dramatic, more daring in every way. If only Timex showed such gumption.

7 COMMENTS

  1. PC? Maybe.

    However…

    Peanuts are big in Japan.

    Pacifist sentiment is extremely strong in Japan.

    Timex has been doing a lot of collaborations in Japan, and it has also been doing a lot of Japanese domestic market exclusives. For example, the California dial Marlin made its debut in Japan. Want a Camper with a California dial? Nano Universe, a Japanese department store, released a collaboration with Timex. Don’t like California dials? No worries! eBay has a wide variety of Timex Japanese exclusives to choose from.

  2. Snoopy on the Omega moonwatch is no different than Iron Man on the AP, both are cartoon characters, but one is just done better than the other. Personally, if I could, I’d buy the snoopy moonwatch tomorrow (also as an homage to my beagle that just passed away). Shame the Timex is one is so basic.

  3. The Sopwith Snoopy image so perfectly captures the Walter Mitty aspect of a whole lot of watch enthusiasts that it would almost be wasted on Timex. Or they are saving it for the eternally delayed Top Gun sequel.

    Timex X Peanuts must be selling well or they wouldn’t be creating so many. With the seasonal ones in particular, I wonder who is actually buying them. On the whole, the Japanese is a plausible answer, though I still wonder about, say, the Thanksgiving one. I will note that they didn’t opt for the image of pilgrim Snoopy in which he is carrying a musket. Of course Twinkie the Kid has long went from open carry to empty holster to no gun belt at all.

    • Classic, old school prep was definitely a thing (and still might be) in Japan. At obe point, a lot of LL Bean mechanical field watches made their way over to Japan if eBay listings are anything to go by.

  4. As a sarcastic writer about nostalgic mechanical watches, just buy the Timex with Snoopy at the typewriter. I It’s targeted identity nostalgia for those who wield the pen rather than pretend the sword, who yearn to publish a chapter book that thousands of people want to buy.

    • I resemble that remark! Except for the yearning thing. I wrote Reservation Point because I wanted to write it.

  5. Yes on the Snoopy-as-fighter pilot. No on TImex for missing the Native American without arms and the Far Eastern woman recovering from terrible facial burns on their video ad.

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