J.Crew, Timex Andros, Heritage Divers and the Seiko 5 SNZH53

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J.Crew just released their newest collaboration with Timex, the Andros. This classically styled diver is rocking a blue shaded face and bezel, quartz movement with day and date and a blue NATO strap. It is quite nicely styled, though its looks probably wont keep you up at night with watch fever. Actually, the best thing about it is that the lugs are sized, I am assuming, to fit the J.Crew straps. The J. Crew NATOs are some of the more interestingly styled NATOs on the market; unfortunately they only come in .75″ or about 18mm.

The most interesting thing about this creation, however, is that in my eyes it confirms the rise of the heritage diver. Many brands have created watches inspired by the original diver watches of the 50’s and 60’s, such as the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (one of the most gorgeous watches in existence, IMHO), the Rolex Submariner and the Longines Legend Diver to name a few. Brands such as RGM, Corvus, Breitling, Helson, Precista, Mk2 and Ocean7 all have their own version of the heritage diver, and that list keeps growing. When a company like J. Crew does it, which certainly is supported by extensive marketing research and focus groups, you can be sure that it is a real thing and that is either happening now, or about to take off.

That being said, the real audience for this watch is not a watch enthusiast, as is the case with all of the J. Crew x Timex’s, but rather a normal J. Crew shopper. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of their line and the wares they sell and I would prefer to see this watch on the wrist of a gentleman or lady leaving their shop in a new gingham and pair of Alden wingtips than some oversized Invicta monstrosity, but I don’t believe this is a great value. Timex’s are cheap watches, and I love them for that fact. I have a few and none cost over 35 bucks.
They look better than they should, are built moderately well, and if I break one doing something stupid, I wont feel too bad about it. Dropping $175 on a quartz Timex is like dropping 100 grand on a Kia…it just doesn’t click with me (not that I have a car, but you know what I am saying).

And to that end I have a recommendation for both the real watch nuts out there and those looking for something more substantial: the Seiko 5 SNZH53 (or any in that series). I personally own one of these and am planning a review in the weeks to come, but I can confidently say now that I give this watch my full support. At $165, give or take, this beautifully built and designed diver has a similar blue palette, a domed hardlex crystal, day/date function and is a 23 jewel automatic. Its styling has a certain intentional similarity to the Fifty Fathoms and as such has lent it a cult status amongst watch modders as the Seiko “FiftyFive Fathoms”. The other colors it comes in are gorgeous as well, namely the black and gold SNZH57 and the all black SNZH59. Wearing this watch is a true pleasure. It looks and feels like a much more expensive watch, is clearly very fashionable and is just unique enough to stand apart from the crowd. Plus, see what Monochrome has to say about the Seiko 5. The only problem with them is that they are a bit tricky to find. I got mine from Skywatches, a store based in Singapore.

Anyway, perhaps the Timex Andros is exactly what you were looking for, and if so I wish you well with your new diver. If you want to look deeper into the heritage diver genre, see above and keep your eyes open for what I am sure is going to be the new prolific trend (yes, this is really cocky, but I have a hunch so I am going with it). Regardless, I am sure that J. Crew and Timex are going to do very well with their new watch.

ps: stay tuned for that SNZH53 review

Zach is the co-founder and Executive Editor of worn&wound. Before diving head first into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.

wornandwound zsw
  • Nice article Zach. I’ve always wanted a Seiko but never fell in love with one, now I may have to get in on the Fifty_five Fathoms craze.

    • Bob

      What is the size of the watch face? It looks smaller than 42 ..

    • Thanks Robin! The SNZH line is really something. The second I unboxed mine and put it on, i knew it was going to become a staple in my rotation.

  • Cutwater

    What size NATO strap is the Seiko?

    • Blake

      The lug width on the Seiko is 22mm. Thanks for reading!

  • Nard Dog

    Great post. I echo your sentiment about the Andros – pretty nice looking, but $175 for a quartz is absurd. It’s a shame that Timex can’t bring it’s manufacturing back stateside and/or release some better looking automatics.

  • Rance

    I saw the Timex at J Crew over the weekend and was NOT impressed. The bezel is fixed — no rotation! Overall the watch felt lightweight and pretty cheap (in other words it fits right in at J Crew.

    For approximately the same price, the Seiko is one great deal in comparison.

    • AK

      The bezel rotates both ways, though it doesn’t “click” as it rotates, as some bezels do. It’s a smooth rotation, though pretty tight.

  • Sam

    Great Review!
    However I have one question –
    Does the Timex Andros make a “ticking sound” much like the timex easy reader?

    • AK

      Yeah, it does make a ticking sound. And if you wait for one of the frequent J. Crew sales, you can get it pretty cheap. A few months ago, it was marked down to $145, with a 30 percent discount on top of that. So mine wound up being something like $101.

  • Very nice seiko

    Whats strap is that?

  • Can anyone please suggest other diver-style watches with the same strap width as the Timex Andros? (18mm lug width) Thanks!

  • Caleb Kay

    The dial itself is 28.5mm, but the whole thing is about 42mm wide not including the crown

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