Timex Goes Mechanical With the All New M79 Automatic

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When Timex launched the Q last summer, it became a hit almost immediately. Sold out for months on the Timex website (but, at press time, available here), the simple but stylish vintage inspired quartz watch traded for a substantial premium on watch forums and resale outlets, and there was a long stretch of time when it seemed like you couldn’t open Instagram without being inundated with Q photos. It was as much of a phenomenon as we’ve seen in the value driven watch space in recent years. Still, some complained. Watch lovers are a finicky bunch. While many were thrilled with a meticulously detailed quartz throwback (complete with a battery hatch on the caseback) some die hard enthusiasts vocalized a strong preference for a mechanical movement. And even though the the red and blue “Pepsi” bezel was historically accurate to the original Q, some watch fans just want to watch the world burn, and prefer a darker, perhaps more “Batman-esque” palette. Well, Timex heard their fans, and have delivered on a watch that many have been conjuring in their mind since the reintroduction of the Q last year. Let’s take a look at the new M79 Automatic.


Timex M79 Automatic

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 40mm 
  • Crystal: Acrylic    
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull        
  • Movement: Japanese Miyota 8000-series
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel woven bracelet
  • Price: $279
  • Reference Number: TW2U29500
  • Expected Release: February 12

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This isn’t a hard watch to understand. What we have here is the now familiar and hugely popular Q case shape, but with an automatic movement inside, and a black and blue dive bezel replacing the 12 hour Pepsi bezel. The case is slightly larger than the Q at 40mm, but the proportions and case lines seem to have been reproduced quite effectively. Vintage touches like the Mercedes hour hand, the mixing of rectangular and circular lume plots, and a period correct woven bracelet have also been ported over to the M79.

While the Timex Q was essentially a reproduction of a watch that actually existed in Timex’s back catalog, it’s an interesting development that subsequent releases in this line are fresh ideas that use the Q as inspiration, rather than simply copying it. Readers will remember that Timex also released the Q Falcon Eye last year, which used a slightly different case shape and gold accents to suggest a watch with more of a late 80s Miami vibe, even though that particular watch was simply a product of the imagination of the current Timex design team. Similarly, the new M79 looks familiar, but is actually entirely new, and speaks to the coherence in Timex’s strategy of building a line of watches with very specific roots in 70s and 80s design cues. 

The M79 (the “M” here stands for “mechanical”) uses a Japanese automatic movement, that is visible through the display caseback. In spite of the unidirectional dive bezel, this watch is not meant for great depth, although it is rated to 50 meters of water resistance, so day to day splashes here and there shouldn’t trouble it too much. At $279 it’s a full $100 more expensive than the Q, but still a good value for a mechanical watch with a time tested, enduring design. The M79 is available right now on the Timex website, so definitely head over there to place your order quickly if you want one, as the previous incarnations of this watch have been hard for Timex to keep in stock. 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.
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