60 Minutes Stopwarch - The ticking
timepiece seen of the Sunday night news magazine 60
The signature stopwatch is seemingly used as the show's logo to
reflect the accuracy of the news segments broadcast on the program
as well as a way of letting viewers know precisely how much of
that night's "60 Minutes" was left.
The superimposed stopwatch appears at the beginning of the program
and at various times, usually between stories. The brand of watch
seen is a Heuer model stopwatch.
So how why did the show choose a ticking stopwatch as a logo?
According to Don Hewitt, the producer of the show, “I was looking
for something to put the credits over. On the first show, the
clock was at the very end and I looked at it and I said, 'Wait a
minute. That's too good for the credits. I'm gonna use that at the
beginning,' and it became our trademark."
As of 1998, the tick-tick-ticking of the original stopwatch (The
latest version is computer-generated) was enshrined in the
National Museum of American History, a division of the Smithsonian
Institution. It was presented to the museum in September, 1998 to
celebrate the show's thirty year anniversary on the air.
60 MINUTES first hit the airwaves 30 years ago, on September 24,
1968. On hand for presentation were 60 MINUTES executive producer
Don Hewitt and correspondents Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed
Bradley, Lesley Stahl and Andy Rooney.
The 60 MINUTES stopwatch now shares space at the Smithsonian with
such pop culture artifacts as Archie Bunker's Chair, The M*A*S*H
signpost and Fonzie's jacket.
The popularity of 60 MINUTES spawned the spin-off 60 MINUTES II
(now called "60 Minutes Wednesday") in 1999. It, too, uses a
ticking stopwatch as a program logo / prop.
TRIVIA NOTE: The June 30, 1994 "Top
Ten List" on LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN mentioned the "60
Minutes" stopwatch in its nightly topic "Top Ten Ways That CBS
Will Be Different After Merging with QVC" The Number 10 selection
read: "You know that stopwatch on '60 Minutes? It's yours for
Back to Top