When the Q Timex Reissue was first launched, stocks were sold out quickly and prices in the resale market shot up. One and a half years on, is it still worth the hype? Find out in my review of the Q Timex Reissue.
When it comes to watches today, a mechanical movement is often seen as a mark of fine craftsmanship – an intricate assembly of springs and gears put together with engineering ingenuity to measure what we know as time. To the general consumer, mechanical watches require a higher degree of expertise to manufacture and isn’t something your average joe can simply cobble together. If you wanted to charge more for a timepiece, it made perfect sense for a business to harp about a watch’s “superior” mechanical movement. On the other hand, hardly anyone shouts about having a quartz movement; most watches employ quartz nowadays anyway.
Yet, today’s piece unabashedly celebrates its quartz nature, or more accurately, its quartz origins. While quartz is now common place, powering everything from a $2 watch to the most expensive of luxury timepieces, it was once upon a time groundbreaking technology that disrupted the entire industry. Mechanical watches nearly went into extinction; quartz was the future.
In response to the Quartz Crisis, many watch brands began manufacturing quartz watches, Timex being no exception. Watches were emblazoned proudly with a “Q” – no prizes for guessing what that stood for.
Today’s Q Timex Reissue is a remake of a 1979 model, complete with lots of retro goodness. The reissue was a hit amongst the community and sold out quickly, with the hype driving up prices in the resale market. Prices have since cooled off, but is it still worth the hype today?
The Case & Specifications
Case size comes in at 38mm (roughly 39.5mm with crown), a lug to lug of around 42mm, lug width of 18mm and a thickness of 11.5mm.
While 38mm sounds modest, those with larger wrists need not be concerned. The use of hooded lugs helps the Q Timex look larger than it wears, creating more wrist presence. At the same time, the hooded lugs allow for a more compact lug to lug, so those with smaller wrists (like me) can still rock this one easily.
The case is made of stainless steel, and comes mainly in a polished finish, with the flat edge of the hooded lugs being brushed instead, adding a bit of variation.
The Q Timex isn’t a bulky piece, and sits well on the wrist. Timex opted for a domed acrylic crystal, which while period accurate, means you will have to be extra careful as acrylic scratches more easily. In the unfortunate event of scratches, some polywatch should do the trick. Aside from that, the domed crystal is a joy to look at.
Opting for a diver styling, a bi-directional pepzi bezel is featured. The bezel is easy to grip, and rotates with a nice feel to it. 50m of water resistance however is nowhere near an actual diver’s so don’t go jumping into the sea with this one.
The caseback is similarly made of stainless steel in a brushed finish. The caseback feels utilitarian – nothing fancy to be found here, save for a battery hatch featured in the original Timex Q Diver, making battery changes a breeze.
This particular colourway comes with a clean white dial, providing lots of contrast for good legibility. Round indices are used to mark out the hours, with a triangular marker at 12 o’ clock, and fence-post shaped markers at 9 and 6 o’ clock. A day date window can be found at 3 o’ clock. The indices are printed and coated with lume, giving them a yellow-green colour. The lume however does not last long; it is only made to look like a diver in style afterall. A chapter ring bearing the minute markers runs on the outside of the hour markers
“Q Timex” and “QUARTZ” are printed below the 12 o’ clock marker and above the 6 o’ clock marker respectively, highlighting the Q Timex’s history.
The hour hand is shaped as a circular pip with a triangular end while the minute hand is rectangular with a pointy end. They pretty much look like a set of Mercedes hands, minus the “Mercedes” logo. The minute hand reaches out to the edge of the chapter ring, allowing you to tell the time precisely and easily, though I personally feel that Timex could have increased the width slightly; it does feel a bit thin to me. The hands are also coated with lume, which like the indices do not last long.
A red coloured seconds hand is used, adding a further pop of colour. I like that it matches the red of the bezel. Don’t expect the seconds hand to hit the markers; from my experience it hardly does. While it would have been nice, I’ve never been too hard up on this.
The Q Timex uses a Seiko PC33 quartz movement, which isn’t anything fancy and is apparently one of the cheaper movements. It will however bring you the reliability and accuracy of quartz, with an accuracy rated at less than 30 seconds per month.
The movement however does not have a quick set function for setting the day; you’ll have to painstakingly change it day by day when you first get yours.
The Q Timex comes with a stainless steel bracelet which measures 22mm at the lugs tapering down to 16mm at the clasp. When I first saw it, I was reminded of the retro looking Casios, which have a similarly tapered bracelet. Timex’s version however, features clasps that are more tightly wound together, or as Timex puts it, “woven”. The clasp can be adjusted by lifting up a tab and sliding it up and down the band till you get the correct fit, and the buckle is signed “Timex”.
The band is light, yet does not feel cheap, and conforms to the wrist very well aided by the relatively compact lug-to-lug. Occasionally however, I found that it nips at the hairs on my arms, which might be a problem for some. Aside from that, the band is comfortable to wear and fits the retro aesthetic of the Q Timex perfectly.
Recommended retail price on Timex is 179 euros, which translates to roughly S$290. When it was first released, prices on the resale market hit up to S$350; the hype has since died down and they now go for a much more reasonable price in the $150 – $200 range.
The Q Timex is great piece to wear – at $290 though I wouldn’t call it value for money, much less for $350 at the peak of its hype. At this price point, I would have hoped for at least a mineral crystal or a better movement to justify the amount I’m paying for. Of course, that didn’t stop it from being sold out when it was first released; it is still considered affordable in the world of watches. Ultimately, you’re paying for the design and the history behind the watch that takes a lickin’ yet keeps on tickin’.
At today’s resale prices, it’s a much more sensible buy and brings a great deal of fun without burning a hole in the pocket.
The world of watches can often get very heated; enthusiasts spend ages analysing movements, designs, history. It’s nice to go back to simpler times, and enjoy a watch for what it is. Timex has done exactly that by reviving a watch from its archives. The Q Timex doesn’t have much to boast about in specs, but what it lacks it makes up for in its simple yet eye catching design that is a whole lot of fun to wear about. At its full retail price, I’d think twice about buying it – but if you find one at a decent resale price, I’d say its still worth the hype.
Simple retro goodness – just like the good old days!