First Look: the Timex Navi XL Automatic

Timex continues to plumb their back catalog with updates to classics, and have just launched a new military-style watch with plenty of vintage cues. This one features an automatic movement, which if Timex fan chatter on the internet is any indication, would seem to suggest that this thing is going to be a hot ticket once it hits the streets.

Timex Navi XL Automatic 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Green
  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Crystal: 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters 
  • Crown: Push/pull     
  • Movement: Miyota Automatic
  • Strap/bracelet: Caramel brown leather 
  • Price: $259 
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: October 22

Very few brands, particularly based in America, have the ability to produce a product at the scale and quality of Timex. In recent years, as the enthusiast watch community has grown dramatically, Timex has stepped up their game considerably. Not only through vintage-inspired releases, which are obviously catnip to enthusiasts, but in the quality of the product itself. Timex is unusually transparent about the sourcing of their components (see, the American Documents collection), and understand that a good chunk of their audience is craving something either in-house, American made, or both. They aren’t quite there yet, but with each new release (particularly those that keep selling out, like the Q) they get a little bit closer. 

That brings us to the Navi XL, a mechanical watch that sits alongside the incredibly popular Marlin in the catalog. While the Marlin is dressy and a virtual copy of a vintage reference (even down to the diminutive by today’s standards sizing) the Navi XL is a little bit more of a traditional “new vintage” throwback release. While not a clone of any particular watch from the Timex vaults, the Navi XL uses old school styling details to signal itself as something in touch with the past. 

The military inspiration here is easy to spot, starting with the deep green dial. Green dials seem to be having a moment, and I’m here for it, especially if they’re paired with warm gold tones or, like the Navi XL, some well-executed radium colored lume. Say what you will about faux-tina, but this dial would look wrong with stark white hour markers. The inner 24-hour scale is another nice military touch, and the rotating bezel gives the Navi XL some added functionality, even though I don’t think anyone is mistaking this for a dive watch. 

The 41mm sizing of this watch makes sense if you view it in the context of a vintage “inspired” update as opposed to a true reissue of something specific. We all know the formula by this point: vintage style, modern sizing, and materials. No complaints here – this is going to remain popular for the foreseeable future as the end result is, consistently, a very satisfying watch that many, many people seem to like. To that point, this Navi XL is just a first taste from Timex. Additional colors are expected early in 2020, as well as wider availability, so if you get shut out during this initial run, don’t turn to eBay, as reinforcements are on the way. Timex

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.