What is it about Timex? I remember the "takes a licking, keeps on ticking" TV ads when I was a kid. Was there something about their watches that was more durable than others, even the movements?
I would really like to own some older watches from the 60s/70s. But mechanical watches require more cleaning and maintenance, and I assume it's expensive to have that done, especially nowadays when it's more rare.
I also have an "overwinding" fear. That's what happened to the only mechanical watch I had, when I was a kid.
I imagine automatics (self winding) would need even more maintenance because of the extra parts. I mean, it seems like it's such a delicate gadget to able to keep working without lots of cleaning or whatever.
I wish more of the older style watches would be reissued in quartz. I feel like a quartz would be longer lasting, since it has fewer moving parts. (Any truth to this theory?)
On overwinding. I think that's a myth. When a mech watch stops working, inevitably it will get wound fully by someone trying to see if it works. The mainspring will get wound up to the fully energized position, but since the movement won't run, the thing just sits there, and the spring remains in the same position, possibly for decades.
This leads to the incorrect conclusion that someone has "wound it too hard" leading the mechanical failure, where really the watch has stopped because of other reasons, and the "wound up" status is arrived at, by the above events. The mainspring is the "dumbest" part of the watch really, and not a lot goes wrong there unless it breaks (or has lubrication problems in the autos with the slipping free edge against the barrel.)
On autos, not sure if they really need more maintenance than a manual wind. Repair of them would involve more steps, but probably not a heck of a lot more, and since it is, in a way, a wristwatch "complication" I guess there's more that can go wrong. But I don't think it's a reason to stay away from autos. I have owned some nicely running Timex autos, probably the best running Timexes I've had.
On quartz, don't know. We've got mech watches that were found laying around in a box unopened since 1945, and they still run. Seems on eBay that a lot of the quartz watches, early vintage ones are sold as non-runners. Good question, which are "longer lasting?" I wonder if the mechanicals might not be.
On the question: What is it about Timex? Long story on this one, might want to check out the Timex book for all the details. In short, in the late 40s, US Time wanted to develop a different kind of watch, and they did. Jewel-less, mass produced, cheap, but nevertheless reliable and accurate , it was a formula for unbelievable success.