If you’re anything like us, you often find yourself lusting after high-end watches full well knowing that you’ll likely never allow yourself to pay over $1,000 for one. Yes, they’re beautiful. Yes, you could maybe rationalize it as an investment. But there is rent due and there are car payments to be made.
There is a way to get a classically styled watch without all the cash and snooty prestige that goes along with it, though. Timex. The brand has been around since the 1940s, and they’ve been making time telling instruments for even longer than that (think pocket watches and clocks). Before just about any other watch company, Timex found a sweet spot in the marketplace by making affordable, attractive, and accurate watches. This trifecta of qualities endeared the brand to an upwardly mobile post-war America and cemented the name in the nation’s conscious. Now, as watches have started to come back in vogue, Timex is being rediscovered by both consumers and designers. To help give you a lay of the land, we organized a list of the best Timex watches that consists of two parts. First are the best stock Timex watches that can be purchased straight from the brand. Second is a list of the best limited edition and collaboration Timex watches out there. Whatever your preference, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for in our list.
A Brief History Of Timex
Only a choice set of brands enjoy the same strong association with their product as Timex does. This, of course, isn’t by accident. It is in large part the result of a hard earned legacy that started way back in 1854.
Originally named the Waterbury Clock Co. (named for its hometown in Connecticut), this small outfit first made its way by producing clocks (you can actually still find a lot of their old wares from the 1800s on vintage watch shops or on eBay). This more or less was all the Waterbury Clock company did for 90 years. During WWII – like most American industry – Waterbury pitched in to help out the war effort by making bomb fuses for the British. It was around this time that a refugee by the name of Thomas Olsen, fleeing the Nazi advance Norway (and trying to find a safe place to put his money) bought a majority stake in the company. A few years later, Olsen renamed the company Timex – apparently a portmanteau of his favorite magazine and tissue, Time and Kleenex.
After the war, Timex expanded rapidly. By keeping prices low and changing distribution methods, wristwatches made by the newly named company became more ubiquitous than nearly any other. It was at this point that Timex as we know it today really came into its own. Since then, the company has had its fair share of ups and downs. Not only have watches come in and out of style over the years, but technologies and material preferences have changed, too. Recently, however, Timex has begun reemerge as a solid choice for guys looking to strap on something classic but affordable.
Stock Timex Watches
Clean And Simple
If a simple watch is all you’re looking to add to your daily outfit, there are a lot worse options than the five we’ve pulled together below. These are stock Timex watches that boast a clean face, sturdy construction, and an affordable price tag. Whether you’re looking for something to wear daily, or something closer to a dress watch or chronograph – these are some of the best that Timex has to offer.
This simple watch features a polished tone 38mm case that holds an off-white dial adorned with full Arabic numerals that tell both civilian and military time. Of course, the dial also lights up with the push of the crown thanks to Timex’s Indiglo night light. The watch comes with a nylon strap and is water resistant to 100 feet.
Timex Expedition Scout 40 Watch
Looking for a little bit more from your watch? This pick isn’t a bad one to consider. It shares some qualities with the weekender in that it features a dial adorned with full Arabic numerals telling civilian and military time as well as the Indiglo night light. But unlike its cousin, the Expedition Scout boasts angular hands, a date window, and a more robust waterproofing down to 160 feet.
Timex Easy Reader Anniversary Special Edition
If this watch is reminding you of Shinola’s Runwell, you’re not alone. While the two look very similar, there are a couple of major differences – the Timex design is 40 years old (Shinola’s was released only in 2013), and it is just about $700 cheaper than the Runwell. With a case measuring in at 38mm, the watch comes in four different styles including the above featured green dial watch – and all feature Indiglo.
Timex Fairfield 41mm Leather Watch
On the hunt for a nice dress watch? You could do a lot worse than this pick from Timex. Featuring a black face, gold-colored indices, and a slim 41mm case – it is a solid pick for wearing into the office or everyday.
Timex Waterbury Traditional Chronograph
Want a watch with a bit more panache? This is well worth a second look. The Waterbury Traditional Chrono – named for the town where Timex was founded – features a trio of subdials counting minutes and hours, and small seconds. While that functionality is nice, what really sticks out is this watch’s striking dial. It has a classic look to it, but it still manages to pop on the wrist.
Timex Collaborations And Limited Releases
An Old-School Look With A Twist
Simplistic designs are some of the most fun to work with if you’re trying to remix or collaborate on a watch. Not only do they leave a lot of open space for designers to play, but they also makes it so even the smallest changes stand out. This is maybe why collaborations with Todd Snyder or remixes by folks like Form Function Form do so well. Take a look for yourself at a list of some of our favorite Timex collaborations and limited releases.
Horween Leather Timex Weekender
One of the chief complaints with Timex watches is that their bands don’t last. In fact, they’re so reliably bad that Form Function Form has made a bit of a business out of buying up Timex watches and fitting them with higher grade Horween leather straps. This weekender, for instance, boasts just such a high-end strap that measures in at 22m in width and features a silver button stud.
Horween Leather Timex Weekender Chrono
More of a lover of the chronograph than the more simplistic watch dial? Don’t want to change out your strap after 6 months? This watch updated by Form Function Form with Horween Leather from Chicago is one you should consider. It takes a great design and adds in a much better strap.
Timex Allied Bronze-Tone and Canvas Watch
When it comes to interesting case materials, Timex generally isn’t a brand to look to. That’s why this watch from the brand is so fun. It features a Bronze-tone brass case that pairs strikingly well with its stonewashed blue canvas strap. The dial isn’t too bad looking, either. It features a black dial with luminescent metal hands and a date window. A great pick for everyday wear.
Timex Whitney Village Watch
A much more minimalist pick from the brand, this watch from Timex has a white dial with raised white Arabic numerals and a trio of white hands. The only contrasting element on the dial is the TIMEX logo, a series of Arabic numerals and indices marking seconds, and the metallic case. All of this is paired with a near flamboyant reversible striped grosgrain strap. A fun pick for weekend wear to be sure.
Timex + Todd Snyder Blackjack Watch
Given that his label has a real penchant for classic American style, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Todd Snyder has taken a liking to doing special collaborations with Timex. This particular design was inspired by a slew of different things – an old found watch, memories of Formula One racing, and the designs of instrument dials on cars. It features a 40mm case, a nylon strap, and an accurate quartz movement.
Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch
If you grabbed up a bunch of old-school G.I. watch designs from the 1970s, gave them a shave and a haircut, and then smashed them together – this is what they’d turn out looking like. Featuring a distinctly martial style paired with modern sensibilities, this watch from Todd Snyder and Timex is a real favorite of ours. Pick it up in one of four colors.
Timex Navi Harbor Stainless Steel Watch
Considering getting a dive watch? No matter your budget – this one should be at least in your list of picks. It features a 40mm case, a rotating bezel, easy to read markers that sit under a trio of hands that are driven by an accurate quartz movement. All of this is attached to a handsome stonewashed leather strap that rounds out the all-black vintage look.
30 Best Watches Under $500
Have a little bit of a bigger budget than just Timex watches? Ok, high roller. We pulled together a list of the best watches under $500 for you to peruse through.