Mar 17, 2011
08:29 AM
Discover Connecticut

Weekend Discovery: Timexpo Museum

Weekend Discovery: Timexpo Museum

One thing you won't see a lot of in New England are 40-foot-high Easter Island heads. Unless you live in Waterbury.

Of course, the replica “Moai” (as the distinctive stone statues are called) isn’t just randomly standing within view of I-84—it’s a key aspect of the Timexpo Museum, which showcases the history of Timex Watches (headquartered in nearby Middlebury). The museum presents the development of the company from its start as the Waterbury Clock Company in 1854 through the present with dozens of historic items, including many vintage timepieces, from century-old grandfather clocks to Mickey Mouse wristwatches. Also on view are the iconic John Cameron Swayze Timex “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” TV commercials as well as prototypes for the next generation of personal timepieces, including one that may even be fitted on an eye. The Timexpo Museum is also home to the largest Indiglo clock face in the world, which is housed in a tower atop the former brass mill.

As for the Easter Island connection—the Olsen Family, who owns Timex, was close friends with renowned Easter Island researcher Thor Heyerdahl, and helped to fund his exploits aboard the Kon-Tiki, the primitive raft that Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific in 1947. Consequently, when the museum was created, it was decided to dedicate an area to chronicling the work of Heyerdahl, and the subject of Easter Island. All the information about Heyerdahl, the Kon-Tiki and his research is in a large exhibit area on the second floor.

The museum has regular activities and events, including a "Make a Real Clock" workshop for children, which is available Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4. (Cost $11; call ahead to register.)

The museum is closed on Sundays, so this is really only a half-weekend discovery. Still, it's well worth making time for.

For more info, call 203.755.TIME or visit

Weekend Discovery: Timexpo Museum

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