Review: Blast From the Past With the New Q Timex

Timex is a brand with deep archives, so it’s no surprise that given the trends of the industry today, Timex has been tapping into those archives for inspiration (and doing so quite successfully I might add). Their latest in neo-vintage reissues is the Q Timex.

Let’s start with a bit of background. For much of its life, Timex was known primarily as a maker of affordable and reliable mechanical watches, and the brand first entered the quartz market back in 1972. By this time, quartz was considered new and cool, and it was gaining considerable market share, so Timex’s quartz watches wore their quartz branding proudly on their dials with a prominent “Q” logo. The Q line created a number of interesting and varied styles, and it also had its fair share of interesting movements, among them quartz-controlled balance spring calibers like the Model 36. The original diver-influenced Q Timex — the watch that inspired the one we’re looking at today — was released in 1979.

Blast from the past – the new (old) Q Timex.

The reissue here appears to be a relatively faithful recreation of the historical model, with many of the small, period-correct details that made the original so very cool. Of course, Timex is known primarily for making quartz watches today, so it’s not a significant shift for Timex to bring back the Q, nor is Timex bringing back any of the unique calibers common to the period. What they are bringing back, however, is late ’70s/early ’80s styling that works damn well in 2019 because vintage mania is here to stay. Furthermore, I’d argue that the execution here in terms of fit and finish feels like a step above typical Timex fare. Let’s take a closer look.


Review: Blast From the Past With the New Q Timex

Stainless steel
Seiko quartz PC33
Domed acrylic
Steel “woven”
Water Resistance
38 x 43.4mm
Lug Width

The case of the Q is neo-vintage goodness through and through. With is hooded lugs, the 38mm case embodies ’70 watch design, and it features an appealing mix of finishes. The transition from one type of finish to the next is relatively well done for the price, and it looks to be better executed than what I’ve seen from other Timex products at this price point.The watch has a slim profile, measuring 12.4mm to the top of the domed acrylic. The case is segmented via a multi-faceted mid-case, the caseback, and the bezel and crystal, so the whole thing looks and feels much slimmer than its dimensions might suggest.

The bezel is non-ratcheting and rotates in both directions with a satisfying degree of resistance, and the classic “Pepsi” color scheme of the insert is easy to love. The teeth offer a nice tactile grip, and the top of the bezel sits on a blue platform (see below) that rotates along with the bezel. It’s a nice little pop of color, and it also helps to visually break up the case profile.

An unexpected pop of blue.

Flip the watch over and you’ll find one of my favorite features here — a battery hatch. I love these because they make swapping the battery (a 377 cell in this case) a breeze. All you need is a coin to open the hatch and you’re good to go.

The movement inside the watch is a Seiko SII Epson PC33, a relatively inexpensive quartz caliber designed for a number of different Seiko, Lorus, and Pulsar models. One quirk of this caliber is that it has a day/date at the 3:00, but the day isn’t quick-set and can only be advanced manually by moving the hands past midnight.

A relatively slim profile.
The casebook hatch…
…and a look inside.

The navy dial features aged lume, a day/date at 3:00, and a Tudor-like lollipop-and-sword handset. It’s a really pleasing mix of cues, and it all comes together in a way that gives the watch its own look, despite it clearly being referential in many regards. I’ve seen some criticism of the GMT-Master-esque vibe of the piece, and the two-tone coloring of the bezel doesn’t really make sense with a 12-hour insert, but this watch is more form than function, and I think on that front it succeeds. (That said, it’s still a 12-hour bezel, and, coloring aside, 12-hour bezels are incredibly useful). If the point here is to capture the vibe of that historical model, I think Timex nailed it.

Hard to go wrong with these colors.

The bracelet is another great vintage throwback, and it’s ideally paired with the case. It’s light and airy, but not cheap-feeling, and this is the sort of combination that you won’t even feel on the wrist. Timex calls this style”woven,” though it’s really just a series of folded links that remind me of Milanese bands, though the execution here is much sportier. Fitting the bracelet to your wrist is simple — you just move the clasp up or down the length of the band and cinch it in place once you find that sweet spot. 

On the wrist, the watch is a blast. As I wrote above, the watch is light and airy, and the bracelet offers a really nice, wrist-hugging fit (I’ve had no desire to swap the bracelet out, and that’s a rare thing for me). I’ve worn the watch everyday since we got it, and I’m really enjoying my experience with it and could see myself enjoying it come summer (though it looks just as good paired with a leather jacket). 

At $179, the Q Timex offers an enticing package. The design is highly appealing, the execution belies the prices, and, perhaps most important here, it’s just a fun watch, and just in time for summer. Everything about it looks vintage but for tick of the seconds hand (which, by the way, isn’t as loud as it is in some of Timex’s other watches), but it also feels modern in its build. And since it’s so simple to maintain, this could be a fun little beater that can hang around in the rotation for years to come.

The first run of the Q Timex is sold out as of this writing, but Timex expects more units in September. Timex

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.