Timex – better or worse?

Every so often I check out what the latest is at Timex and have they brought out actual new models or rehashes of older ones.  The ones I’ve spotted so far are not really what I wanted to see, because they are basically rehashes of older models and not only that, in my opinion they are not real improvements.
The first one I noticed is a “shock” model and is the Vibration Alarm T49984SU.

Timex T49950XL Vibration Alarm with bespoke strap.

Timex T49950XL Vibration Alarm with bespoke strap.

This is basically an update my older Expedition Vibration Alarm Chronograph – Model T49854J but with added “shock” protection.
However that added shock protection doesn’t do a great deal for me as the old model was already tough as old boots and function wise they’re very similar with 3 alarms, 3 time zones, chronograph, timer etc etc. and of course the vibration feature, which I have to say is excellent and surprisingly useful on my older model.

Older model T Vibration Alarm - Note standard strap & lugs.

Older model T49854J Vibration Alarm – Note standard strap & lugs.

The downside for me however, stops me even considering purchasing the new model, because even though it increases the Water Resistance from 100m to 200m, it is not as good when it comes to the strap/bracelet arrangement.  Once again and disappointingly, Timex have now built-in a bespoke strap arrangement.  They’ve narrowed the lugs from the older model, which prevents the use of any standard watch strap and yes you guessed it, you’ll have to buy another one from Timex when it breaks.  It might be possible to add a normal strap, but it would be a narrow one to fit the lugs and wouldn’t look so good.

So disappointing for me but very glad I got my older model when I did, because it has been excellent in every way.

As regards straps, I note their standard Expedition Base Shock models still have standard strap/lug arrangements, Dual time zones (two is ideal), 100m WR (no vibration) but much better value price wise.  Indeed I have one myself (Timex Expedition T49976) in camo and found nothing to better it from any Brand – see my review – HERE

Timex also have a shock World Timer model, the T49971SU which seems impressive with some 62 cities and 30 Time Zones represented and 100m Water resistance.

Timex T49971SU World Time with 62 cities

Timex T49971SU World Time with 62 cities

I Like the fact it has 3 quick set Time Zones so you can prepare the watch before travel as it were, which is useful in addition to the full World Time function.
The downside for me again is this business of the non standard strap/lug arrangement, narrowed lugs and a bespoke resin strap affair.  And whilst a nice watch and a good standard module function set which I expect from Timex, I sometimes have to question and this is not just about Timex, but with any World Time watch, if it’s really necessary.  In practical terms Dual or maybe 3 Time Zones to me makes far more sense and rather pointless carrying all the Time Zones of the world around with me.

When I went to Brazil via Madrid from the UK, the 3 Time Zones on my old model was perfect.  Before I left the UK, I simply keyed in the different times for London, Madrid and Brazil  as T1, T2 and T3 – job done.

I do like the fact that Timex introduced the concept of 3 settable Time Zones, as this seems to me to be a very practical World Time arrangement, though I wouldn’t be surprised if many Timex owners didn’t realize they had it.

Sorry if I’ve rambled a bit and perhaps got off the plot here, but that’s the thing with Timex.  They have so many models which appear so similar, confusion rules and you have really got to look very carefully at each model to be able to fit a particular model to your particular likes – and it’s tricky!

Indeed I thought – Ha! new models from Timex! – but after checking carefully, I have decided to stick with the ones I have – for now . . . .

 

Get and forget (2)

Yes, sorting out which watch model to buy in amongst a huge range can be daunting and often compounded by what your particular preference may be.  What you want from a new watch etc.  This is always the problem I have when looking at the big lads, Seiko, Citizen and Timex.  Because they really make models for just about everyone, so it’s very difficult.

Timex Expedition Chrono T49895

Timex Expedition Chrono T49895

I tend to check out the ones I like, not because of the number of functions they squeeze in, but for the model that manages to combine a certain simplicity with function, if that doesn’t sound silly.   By doing this, I gradually out of many dozens of disparate models, manage to pick maybe a couple or so that make sense and manage to fit my simple requirements.

The first one to appear out of the crowd is the T49895 Expedition Chronograph model.  With it’s ion plated steel case and black dial, luminous analog Hour, Minute hands and center Seconds hands it is very conventional.   No superfluous fly back features that to me are unnecessary complications.  3 sub dials for the chronograph function and a multi-date window between 3 and 4 are well defined and clear to read and not a chrome edged reflective numeral in the place!   Note this model also has a back light.  Chronograph bezel outer rings are neat and unobtrusive and the well knurled crown and pushers are just about perfect.   The dimensions are a decent 45mm x 13mm and Water Resistance is 100m.

To cap it all this model has a leather strap fitted to standard lug bars, so alternative straps or strap replacements are not an issue down the road.

This is a model that is sensible terms of Form, Function and Fit and without the added corporate style trappings of being something it’s not – it is what it is.

—————————

My second choice from Timex’s vast arsenal of watches is the T49967 Expedition Alarm Chronograph.

Timex T49967 Expedition Alarm Chronograph

Timex T49967 Expedition Alarm Chronograph

I like this  model as it’s of Analog-Digital design but not overpoweringly so.  Whilst it’s supposedly 43.8mm across, I measured mine (I already have one in my collection) and the width to the crown is in fact almost 47mm, so not a small watch by any means.  It’s only 13.6mm (depth) and wears smaller than it is, albeit with a definite Timex Expedition look to it, but is relatively uncluttered and not over-functioned.
Once again the dial is excellent, matte and well laid out in black with contrasting broad luminous infilled analog Hour and minute hands plus a yellow center seconds Hand. It has a nice overall balance.

Large clear numerals and markers in white and yellow mean good clarity and the Day, Date, Month, Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch plus Digital time display is well positioned @6 and is larger than many, but does not get in the way of the analog functions.   Additional chronograph buttons are on the wide bezel @6 for chronograph control such as Stop and Split laps etc.  The bezel is influenced by their “shock” range and gives good protection to the crystal.

Note this is a perpetual Calendar model, so once the Calendar is set, forget about short months and so on, it’s all taken care of.

Four nicely figured pushers are on the outer edge of the case and are broad and easily accessed, the crown is @3 as usual, well shrouded but accessible.   Once again we have an Indiglo back light, so this is well equipped for low light situations and has a 200m Water Resistance.

T49967 Silicon/rubber strap with buckle.

T49967 Silicon/rubber strap with buckle.

This model comes with a green colored rubber strap and once again if not to your liking it’s an easy matter to replace, as the case/lug/strap bars arrangement is about as standard as you can get – many thanks Timex!  In practice the strap is actually very good and I have not changed it myself – and I’m really picky when it comes to straps and wrist comfort!

This model once again manages to get the basics right and the overall “Form” is pleasing, Function is unobtrusive and it Fits well to the wrist and it does it all rather well.

T49967 Expedition Combo

T49967 Expedition Combo – on the wrist

Both models above are around the same price (approx £85 in the UK) and for me represent excellent value for money without gimmicks and are two of the most practical and sensible Timex models I’ve seen for a while.

True Get and Forget watches = Form, Function and Fit.  (I can see a slogan coming. . . . . 😉 )

Note – I see that many Timex models now come with a generic instructional manual and often these do not relate at all to the watch model you may have bought.  The model above (T49967) is such a model and I note the following additional instructions in case anyone purchases one.

The pushers are labelled and self explanatory, but when setting the digital time (first push the “set” pusher and hold it) and you go through the sequences – hours, minutes etc etc. and once done – push the “set” again, the digital display is then set by default to the Time indication.
However to display the Day, Date and Month (the calendar), you must push the ST button on the bezel and the Calendar will flash up for a second.  To permanently show the Calendar display rather than the Time display, push and hold the ST button for at least 3 or 4 seconds.  This will show the date, day and month then set – then release the button and the Calendar will stay indicated, now as the permanent digital display.   So at a glance you now have the analog hour, minute and seconds hands on the main dial and the digital display will be showing the Calendar. (you can reverse the sequence as you wish).

Also when setting the digital display the Calendar can be selected show either USA or UK style (Day, Date and Month) – something I wish others would emulate.

Timex Expedition Vibration Alarm T49854J - Great daily beater!

Timex Expedition Vibration Alarm T49854J – Great daily beater!

Finally I’d add to this selection my other Timex Digital Expedition.  Quite similar to the ana/digi here, but digital only and once again a really sweet watch to wear – I show an image just for comparison.

It’s interesting to note that out of my collection of Timex watches, the one shown here on the left (T49854J), the ana/digi above (T49867) certainly get the most wrist time.  For methey encapsulate everything that Timex in my opinion does best.  Really excellent low cost daily beaters – true “get and forget” models, that are a perfect balance between “Form, Function and Fit”.

What really and honestly could be any better?

Well to answer that I am looking at Casio next week and as they’re in the same business and “get and forget” is money in the bank!  – I’m betting they’ve got something to offer too!