The Timex MK1 Mechanical is a Throwback That’s Full of Charm

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We’ve covered a lot of Timex watches on Worn & Wound over the last year or so, and it speaks to the brand’s emerging status in the watch world. That’s maybe an odd thing to say, since Timex has been around for a very, very long time, and means a lot to American watchmaking. But with a series of very strategic releases over the last few years, they’ve cemented a place in enthusiast circles that might have been hard to predict a decade ago. With vintage inspired designs becoming trendy, as well as an acceptance of quartz at a certain price point by watch aficionados, Timex was extremely well positioned to capitalize on current trends by simply doing what they’ve always done: delivering great value and clear, focused designs. Their recent dip back into mechanical watches is a bit like icing on the cake, and their newest release is a great example of the type of watch those of us who care about these things didn’t ask for, but suddenly are unsure of how we lived without it for so long.


Timex MK1 Mechanical 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Green
  • Dimensions: 36mm     
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                       
  • Movement: 20 jewel hand wound movement
  • Strap/bracelet: Canvas 
  • Price: $185
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Available now

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The MK1 Mechanical is part of the Timex Archive Project, which seeks to bring back important designs from the brand’s past. This particular watch is based on the Timex “Camper” model from the 80s, but could just as easily be a product of the 50s or 60s. The Mk1 Mechanical isn’t so much vintage inspired, but it actually seems made very much like a vintage watch. It utilizes a simple hand wound movement, has a field watch style dial design that would have been exceedingly common in the middle part of the last century, and is only 36mm in diameter. The fact that it’s green, which could be seen as a bow to modern trends and taste, hardly matters in my opinion – this looks like something that could have been found in a drawer in your grandparent’s house, and that is obviously meant as a high compliment. There’s a clear military vibe here as well, with the drab tone of green used for the dial, as well as the canvas strap. 

Taking a close look at the Timex web page where the watch is currently for sale, it’s interesting to note the copy in their description, which carefully describes the physical sensation of winding the movement by hand, and stopping when resistance is felt. This isn’t something you see on the websites of brands that are more traditionally enthusiast focused, and I find it charming and quite endearing that Timex provides this type of instruction to their customers. It indicates they expect many to be buying their first mechanical watch, and they want those customers to have a great experience, and understand what they’re getting into. This is the kind of thing that grows watch enthusiasm, and expands the hobby to more people, and it’s nice to see Timex claiming a role for themselves as educators for those coming to a watch like this for the first time. 

The MK1 Mechanical is available now on the Timex website, with a retail price of $185. Timex

Photos by Ark Zaydman, @heritagetimex

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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.
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