Timex is the official watch partner of – and timekeeper for – the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Again. Still. Their current pitch: “Get in the Octagon with Timex and UFC to create your legacy.” Hmmm…
I reckon you can round down to zero the percentage of watch buyers – or sane people – who’d step inside one of the UFC’s octagonal kill zones to face an opponent. Any trained opponent. If Joe Sixpack did take on a pro, their legacy would be nothing more or less than “KSI” (Killed or Seriously Injured).
Timex’s UFC collection come-on violates one of the most important rules of marketing: don’t insult the customer (you stupid git). Still, the sales copy fits the UFC’s mucho macho ethos.
Apparently, the UFC Timex is “…the only watch collection tough enough for UFC.” An assertion that will come as a G-SHOCK to fans of other tough-as-nails digital watch brands. Anyway, you can’t get in the Octagon with Timex. Jewelry of any sort is strictly prohibited.
Out on the street, UFC fighters are free to wear whatever wristwear suits their style, or pays for props. Connor McGregor famously flashes blinged-out and ultra-expensive timepieces from horological heavyweights (AP, Patek, Rolex, Jacob & Co., etc.). A far cry from Timex’s Chinese-made UFC collection.
It’s a bit surprising to find the Colossus in the 27-watch UFC collection. You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to recognize the design as the handiwork of the minimalistic maestro behind the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic (almost beloved by our man Klosoff).
Your $185 buys you shock-resistant Indiglowing ani-digi chronoalarm submersible day-datery. Sure, it’s a Casioak (GA-2100 Octagon Series). So four years ago! But black is ever-so-slimming, and the Timex’s day arrow’s faces the other way.
The $85 Timex UFC Combat is the corporate combo’s current champion, as worn by UFC star Sean “Sugar” O’Malley. It’s monstrous in size (53mm), confusing as hell and ugly AF. Don’t expect me to tell Mr. O’Malley that; the 420-friendly fighter’s record is currently 16 and 1.
“Timex and UFC share a heritage of determination, ingenuity, and grit and we are honored to join the most innovative force in combat sports to clock its greatest moments,” Timex VP of Brand & Creative Shari Fabiani’s copywriter crows.
“Being able to bring accurate, durable and innovative timekeeping to fighters and fans alike and offering hard-hitting features that embody the toughness and tenacity of two powerhouse brands is a match worthy in its own right.”
What she’s trying to say: her employer’s re-upped UFC partnership will keep Timex’s 1m square foot, 10k employee-strong factory in Guangzhou, China humming for the forseeable future. TKO against Casio!? Hardly. Apple? They’re in a different league.
Still, as Ultimate Fighting Championship champion Connor McGregor said, “At the end of the day you gotta feel something. So why not feel unbeatable?”