Timex and Nigel Cabourn Team Up Again for a Military Inspired Watch with Some Great Period Detail

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Timex has once again teamed up with the well known menswear designer Nigel Cabourn on a watch, and this time the inspiration comes from World War II, which will feel familiar to fans of Cabourn, who has long incorporated elements of military garb and gear into his designs. You might recall that last year Timex and Cabourn collaborated on a rather playful “soccer timer,” which incorporated a clever dial that could be used to time the halves of a soccer match, paired with a pretty endearing color scheme. This year the collaboration includes another colorful dial with a heavy vintage inspiration. Let’s take a look at the Timex X Nigel Cabourn Survival Watch.

Timex X Nigel Cabourn Survival Watch

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Yellow
  • Dimensions: 36mm
  • Crystal: Mineral        
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                        
  • Movement: Time only quartz
  • Strap/bracelet: “Black Navy” Ventile (fabric) slip through strap
  • Price: $180
  • Reference Number: TWG022000
  • Expected Release: Available now 


The specific inspiration for this watch stems from RAF flight crews that crash landed at sea during World War II. The bright yellow dial is a nod to the high visibility life vests worn by these pilots, and the strap is Ventile, the same material as the immersion suits worn by RAF pilots as a safety precaution. These special suits were able to keep pilots warm even when saturated, and likely saved countless lives during the war. 

The watch case is 36mm, a great and appropriate size considering the era it was inspired by, and features the “Broad Arrow” symbol on the dial, tying it to military issued watches of the past. It also uses fixed lugs, something we rarely see on contemporary watches, even ultra-faithful vintage reissues, but it’s a design element that makes a lot of sense here, and I think Cabourn deserves credit for incorporating a detail like this. The Survival Watch is very much a spiritual successor to the initial Timex/Cabourn collaboration, a similarly sized and styled watch that took its cues from Vietnam era military timepieces. 

At the end of the day, this is a $180 quartz watch that is purely an exercise in style, taking on some very specific touchstones. It’s successful in that regard, though, and there are so many watches at a similar price point that aren’t nearly as well thought out and coherent from a design perspective, it tends to make a watch like this, as with other Timex X Nigel Cabourn watches, something that’s fairly compelling if you happen to connect with it aesthetically. Timex X Nigel Cabourn

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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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