Timex is back with a new version of their Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic, this time in a smaller 38mm case size. The Galli S1 is one of our favorite watches to enter the expansive Timex catalog in recent years, and we’ve always felt that it punches well above its weight class in terms of pure design. There are a lot of subtle (and some not so subtle) details on the S1 that are tough to find on watches under $1,000. Indeed, some of those details are more commonly seen among haute horlogerie pieces that completely eclipse the S1 in terms of affordability.
We’ve covered previous releases of the S1 here and here (and Ed reviewed one here), but to quickly bring those who might be stumbling onto the watch for the first time up to speed, one can most easily thing of the S1 as the signature design of Giorgio Galli, the watch’s namesake who has led the Timex design team from Milan for years. A few years ago, Giorgio was charged with designing a watch that brings together everything Timex stands for, and the S1 is what he came up with. It mixes the classic with the modern, and upends expectations about what an affordable watch should be in the first place, which both seem to be core components of the Timex brand identity. This is a company that has its roots in 1854, after all, so creating a bridge to the past while simultaneously looking ahead feels right on point for Timex.
The defining feature of the S1 continues to be the skeletonized case made using an injection molding process. At 38mm, this case is about 3mm smaller than the first S1 watches to come on the scene, and will open the watch up to folks with smaller wrists, or watch enthusiasts who just prefer a smaller size. From the top down, the S1 looks like a normal watch with simple and classic case lines, typical of countless Timex watches produced over the past 165 years. But from the side, you can clearly see just how unusual the case actually is, with a hollowed out caseband and lugs that create a sleek and modern look. What at first seems simple is actually quite complex, and that’s really the pleasure of the S1 in a nutshell. It’s worth noting that injection molding is difficult to do well, and involves injecting a powdered metal material mixed with a binder into a mold, and then heating it at sky high temperatures. To do this reliably at a large scale for a watch with a retail price of $450 is quite an achievement.
Three dial options are available for the new 38mm S1: Inverness Green, Atlantic Blue, and Iceland Stone Grey. All appear to have the same signature details of the original S1, namely skeletonized apertures at the minute markers coupled with applied hour markers, and a synthetic sapphire stone above the 6:00 marker. The dial is refined, doesn’t call attention away from the case, but still has some great details to be discovered if you look for them.
The Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm runs on the Miyota 9039 caliber (again, just like the earlier versions) and can be seen through the display caseback. Water resistance is 50 meters, making the watch appropriate for daily wear, but not for serious water sports, and the crystal is sapphire with an anti glare treatment. It’s available now through the Timex website. Timex