Jonathon Evans of Esquire called the Q Timex Chronograph “catnip for vintage lovers.” That’s a solid metaphor for this retro-styled timepiece. And given the furry of Q releases that sell out as quickly as Timex can make them, it does seem that watch enthusiasts are constantly clamouring after the next hit. Aside from refreshing colourways and continually evolving iterations on the brand’s 1979 classic, Timex now have a Q Timex GMT and a mechanical model in the lovely M79–both watches that have never existed before in the watchmaker’s catalogue, but certainly look as though they they have. It only seems logical, then, to boldly go where no Timex has gone before and add to that juggernaut which is Q, with this panda dial beauty.
The Q Timex Chronograph carries forward the torch of the original Q Timex styling which lends the timepiece a certain legitimacy. It has that same angular case shape, the telltale dome (albeit mineral crystal here), and of course, the coveted Timex pricepoint that has made the Q line a gateway drug for a whole new generation of watch lovers. In that respect, the brand’s recent renaissance has coincided–if not driven symbiotically–an industry-wide revitalization.
The Q Timex Chronograph measures in at 40mm in diameter and a very reasonable 46mm lug to lug. This is larger than the original Q, which measures 38mm, but remains highly wearable for most wrist sizes. It is also thicker than its progenitor at 13.5mm, but slimmer than the mechanical M79. The case is polished throughout with a mix of flat planes and subtly brushed chamfering that tapers down to 18mm hooded lugs. The profile, on the other hand, flares at the far ends to fit snuggly around the contours of your wrist. The watch has a screw down battery hatch and offers up 50m of water resistance.
Where the chrono differs from its predecessors most, of course, is with the inclusion of classic pump pushers and a stationary, matte black tachymeter bezel. In terms of design, the watch is certainly channelling the great racing chronographs of the past. There’s more than a little Daytona here, with a healthy does of Speedmaster and Autavia on the side. The finishing is a deftly executed tropical dial which exudes warmth. And to match, there is also an application of fauxtina in the lume. Perhaps the only missing element here is the archetypal azurage often found in the sub-dials. The registers include a running seconds, a 60-minute tracker, and a (relatively useless) 24-hour indicator. In the end, “she’s got the looks.”
The movement under it all is the Epson YM12a. This is a Seiko movement for off-brand chronographs. It beats at 32,768vph and offers up a 5-year battery life. The calibre also has a quick set date at 4:30. While the reference featured here comes on a leather band, there is also a “reverse” panda version of the watch available on a bracelet.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
46mm Lug to Lug
18mm Lug Width
50m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Mineral Glass Dome|
Date @ 4:30
Central Chrono, Running Secs, 60-Minute Register
5-year Battery Life
|Strap||Leather Strap or|
Stainless Steel Bracelet
Q Timex Chronograph
The Q Timex Chronograph looks like is has been around forever, which is a testament to the design team, because not only has Timex never made a mechanical chronograph, it did not market its first quartz chronograph until well after the 1970s–the era it is channelling with the Q Timex. In fact, if Timex has racing roots, they come after 1984 and the launch of their Triathlon digital collection. It was in 1986 that the watchmaker then launched the Ironman and became synonymous with the race. If watches like the Ironman and the Q Timex Chronograph can tell us anything about the brand, however, it’s that Timex certainly knows how to weather a storm (quartz or otherwise) with resilience and come out ticking.
I wish the brand had stuck with the acrylic dome rather than moving to mineral crystal. It would have fit the vintage motif better and allowed for the repairing of scratches down the road.
The Q Timex Chronograph is an embodiment of what Timex does best. It brings style to the masses. In the same way that an inexpensive Vostok Amphibia, or a Seiko 5, can act as a secret handshake among aficionados, the Q Timex line has done what few affordable watches can truly do–it bridges the gap between the enthusiast sphere and the regular watch-buying public. The Q Timex Chronograph is cool because of its price, not in spite of it. It looks just as good as a watch well beyond its market value. The racing tropes and vintage styling are so well executed, and the brand heritage so well-known and respected, that the Q Timex Chronograph looks and feels like an authentic wrist experience.
The Q Timex Chronograph retails for $199USD on leather and $219USD on a bracelet. For more information, please visit the brand website.
About the author
Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.
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