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Timex has been a watch company since its beginnings in 1854. In the 1970s, the American watch and clock industry was devastated by the arrival of cheap mechanical watches from the Far East, as well as the development of digital quartz watches pioneered by Japanese companies. In the 1980s, in a joint venture with Sinclair Research Ltd, the company entered the home computer business, selling such computers as the Timex Sinclair 1000 and succeeding machines, modeled on the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum. After a reasonably good sales performance to begin with, the Timex Corporation decided it couldn't compete with the low-end market's eventual saturation and so the company withdrew.
Timex Corporation survived the 1970s and 1980s and came back strong. Today, the company remains profitable and competitive and the Timex brand remains strong. The primary market remains the United States and Canada for the Timex brand, although Timex watches are sold worldwide due to a strong brand image and reputation for quality. In addition, Timex Group B.V. sells many other brands addressing all segments of the watch market, including Guess, Gc, Nautica, Marc Eckō, TX, Opex and, in a successful foray into the luxury watch market, Versace, Versus, Valentino Timeless, Salvatore Ferragamo Timepieces and Vincent Bérard. In addition to its regular watch lines, Timex manufactures the well-received Timex Datalink series of PDA-type watches that has attained cult-like status among computer gadget aficionados. Timex also manufactures GPS enabled watches, heart rate monitor exercise watches and similar high tech devices.