In the market for a new watch and considering a Timex? I don’t blame you. Timex is a storied brand with some great bang-for-your-buck options. We’ll show you our picks for the best Timex watches in this article.
So, what’s up with Timex watches?
Timex is a large watchmaking company based in Middlebury, Connecticut.
In the mid-20th century, Timex had a regular live TV spot in which they put their timepieces through intense trials. It was then their slogan, “Timex Takes A Licking And Keeps On Ticking” was established.
This durability, combined with its other philosophy of creating affordable watches for a wide audience, puts Timex in the “affordable quality” range of timepieces.
From the outset, Timex has always put affordability and durability at the top of its agenda and it has paid off dividends.
Yes, they design large collections that cater to a vast array of tastes and needs.
But they also create timepieces in higher price point categories. Not to mention, they collaborate with celebrities and fashion designers to release one-of-a-kind collections.
Over the years, this has resulted in some pretty innovative watch designs.
Don’t be fooled, though: If you’re expecting cheap, throw-away timepieces, you’re in for a surprise. Timex has survived this long because it manages to produce impressive watches at even more impressive prices.
Let’s get to know the brand a little better.
Is Timex a good brand?
We believe so!
There’s a lot of American pride that goes into the building of these watches and no small amount of American commercial ingenuity too. Although the prices are often staggeringly low, the watches are by no means “cheap”.
Many of the collections put an emphasis on quality materials like brass and leather, but they won’t let their desire for All-American watches get in the way of recognizing the superiority of Swiss movements.
Timex does a wonderful job of walking this tightrope by ensuring many of their watches are assembled in-house at their HQ in Connecticut.
There’s also the small matter of their collections.
They are huge, and each has a unique selling point that makes such quantities understandable. From digital to diving watches, sport watches to Snoopy… if you have the time to scroll, then there’s very little doubt you’ll find the right watch for you!
A Brief History of Timex
Timex began life in the New England town of Waterbury, Connecticut. The town earned the moniker “Brass City” by being a leading brass manufacturing center. Hell, even the town’s motto reflects a lasting tradition (and deep love) of brass, Quid Aere Perennius, or, “What is more lasting than brass?”
The Waterbury Clock Company was founded in 1854 by a group of artisans who wanted to put their town’s expertise with brass to good use in the form of mantel clocks.
Years later, Timex would honor the artisans who founded its mother company by insisting they came up with mass production when they created their famous $6 clock, 40 years before Ford’s Model T.
In 1901, the Waterbury Clock Company produced the famous Yankee Pocket Watch. The original price of the watch was $1 and, just like their earlier Mantel clock, the company had created a “watch that almost anyone could afford”.
It was also called “The watch that made the dollar famous”, and that’s not an exaggeration. Even Mark Twain himself couldn’t help putting in an order for one!
In 1941, Norwegian ship owner and eccentric billionaire Thomas Olsen bought the Waterbury Clock Company and renamed it Timex.
The reason for this name? It’s perfectly logical.
As Olsen’s son, Fred, recalled in Fortune Magazine, “My father always loved to noodle with words. He liked to read Time magazine, and he used a lot of Kleenex, so he put the two names together and got Timex.”
See? Perfectly logical.
One theme you might have noticed in this terse history of Timex is that they were, and are, obsessed with creating good quality, affordable timepieces that appeal to large audiences.
Keep your eyes peeled for this brand philosophy when perusing the pieces in this article. It pops up a lot!
The Best Timex Watches
Now, when it comes to choosing a Timex, things can go quickly awry if you think you can just dip your hand in and pluck out the perfect watch for you.
Timex’s collection is absolutely enormous, and that doesn’t include the discontinued pieces still on sale on other websites. So, with that in mind, I dove into the murky waters of Timex, battled with the deep sea Indiglo™ jellyfish, and emerged with our top six picks.
Timex Weekender 38mm
There’s something wonderful about the Weekender line from Timex that makes me keep coming back to it. It might be the fact that this relatively simple watch has a secret that makes my inner child giddy: an Indiglo light-up dial.
Then again, it could be the Bertie Wooster striped straps that spark no small amount of joy in me too. These straps, combined with a dial that reminds me of a railway station clock, put me in mind of going on a weekend trip to some 1920s house in the country.
All leather holdalls and loafers, the Weekender is the perfect example of New England’s playful side.
And what’s more, the straps are actually slip-through so you’re free to tailor your Weekender to your outfit, the weather, or just your own signature style. And for this price, you’re getting a whole lot of versatility for your buck!
Details of the Timex Weekender 38mm
|Band Material Type||Nylon|
Timex Expedition Field Chronograph
When it comes to a rugged beater in Timex’s collections you really have to put the Expedition Field Chronograph up on a pedestal. Its gunmetal gray brass case keeps up the Waterbury Clock Company tradition nicely while still giving that modern touch.
The Indiglo™ dial lights up to reveal Arabic numerals at each hour marker but the fact that they go up in increments of 5 adds that sense of urgency that comes with the adventure theme Timex wanted to capture here.
The 20mm band is also interchangeable and Timex has a whole range of robust bands that can be swapped out for the office or the outdoors.
At 43mm, the dial is large but the three subdials and the date window fill the space excellently, creating the effect of a substantially less busy diver’s or aviator’s dial.
Along with the hint of airplane wings on the second hand, this watch simply begs to be taken on an adventure.
Details of the Timex Expedition Field Chronograph
|Band Material Type||Leather|
Timex Waterbury Classic Chronograph
If you like chronographs but you prefer the Metropolitan to the Mountain Life then the Waterbury Classic has you covered.
It’s a magnificent example of American Laconian elegance and there’s just something about American style that makes simplicity handsome.
Perhaps it’s a remnant of “conquering harsh terrain with cold steel” that created this style.
There’s a clarity here that isn’t the minimalism of Bauhaus; it’s the Stonewall stolidity of New England. The same clear simplicity of design that is the backbone of the romance behind books (and movies) like The Great Gatsby.
To me, this is Americana at its finest. Forget the Wild West, to hell with Manifest Destiny, give me 1920s pinstripe and drinking bathtub gin from an Art Deco plant vase any day.
Details of the Timex Waterbury Classic Chronograph
|Band Material Type||Stainless Steel|
Q Timex Reissue
If you ask any hardcore Swiss watch fan about the 1970s you’re likely to get a few downcast eyes and grumbles about the Quartz Crisis. They’re referring to how Japanese watch companies discovered a way to use quartz in their movements.
This allowed them to create remarkably cheap watches instead of the complicated mechanical watches that were the industry standard until then.
This led to many traditional watchmakers closing their doors because they simply couldn’t compete.
Some fifty years later, Timex has decided to own this dip in their history by reissuing one of the watches they created in 1979 to combat said Crisis.
The Q Timex brings back a classic 70s design with a simple dial and that iconic two-tone bezel. What’s most impressive about the watch isn’t the functional battery hatch that can be opened with a coin to change the battery.
Nope, it’s the strap!
A wave of thin links gives the strap a serpentine movement many of the modern, larger-linked straps just can’t emulate. It’s the chainmail of the 70s and appeared everywhere from wide women’s bracelets to the flat herringbone necklaces worn by the pioneers of hip hop and rap.
While the two-tone bezel won’t raise many eyebrows today, the Q’s strap certainly will.
Details of the Q Timex Reissue
|Band Material Type||Stainless Steel|
Timex American Documents 41mm
Speaking of those clean lines and clear design of the 1920s, the American Documents collection seems to be a favorite over at Timex and I really can’t blame them.
The hands are like shards of glass that swirl effortlessly inside the brushed satin case, making it a lot less flashy than many other dress watches out there.
And if you like the idea of Timex being a home-grown American company then you’d be proud to have the Documents on your wrist. The movement is Swiss, so it’s as dependable as they come, but everything else about it is American made and assembled.
The leather strap comes from American sourced hides and that hand-brushed case is actually drop-forged in Connecticut. So this delicate little dress watch is much more rugged than meets the eye.
What’s more, there’s a brass coin inserted into the back of the case with “Aged Waterbury Brass” stamped into it, a homage to the original clocks made at the Waterbury Clock Company.
This and the brass insert in the crown are polished to match the exact color of the 19th-century mantel clocks that made Timex’s mother company famous.
Details of the Timex American Documents 41mm
|Band Material Type||Leather|
Timex Metropolitan R AMOLED Smartwatch
Smartwatches don’t appeal to everyone, less so the more avid aficionados of mechanical watches, but this smartwatch deserves to be on this list for the very fact that its designers approached its design as if it were a mechanical watch.
Starting with the bare materials, the case comes in either gunmetal grey or rose gold and it boasts a ceramic bezel that glistens in the light.
Also, the leather strap is lined on the inside with silicone so it stays relatively sweat-free no matter the weather.
These materials make for a quality watch that is understated enough for you to wear with nearly any casual outfit.
The 1.2 inch, 390×390 pixel screen is stiletto sharp and easy to see in artificial and natural light. There are more than 20 different dial designs to suit your tastes. It contains all of the best features of a smartwatch. You know, like keeping track of your fitness goals and syncing up with your email and phone alerts.
Ultimately, there are a lot of smartwatches on the market, but few that take such care for the classic watch aesthetic while also remaining affordable.
Not that this is all too surprising, given Timex’s history of advancing both digital and analog timekeeping.
Details of the Timex Metropolitan R AMOLED Smartwatch
|Display||AMOLED 20+ Dial Designs|
|Band Material Type||Leather|
Our Top Six Picks from Timex: What’s Your Favorite?
And that’s it! Our top six picks from the Timex brand. Hopefully now you’re familiar with the brand, its history, and the highlights of its collections.
Be sure to check out the links above and let us know which Timex watches you like best, and if you found any models you think should have made it onto this list!