A month in iso with the Timex Q, a watch that reconnected me with the fun in collecting A month in iso with the Timex Q, a watch that reconnected me with the fun in collecting

A month in iso with the Timex Q, a watch that reconnected me with the fun in collecting

Bruce Duguay

Watch collecting is fun. At least it should be, which means that from time to time, you have to get back to basics and enjoy the roots of the hobby. Even though a lot of us turn a blind eye to it, one of the staples of the watch industry is inexpensive quartz-powered timepieces. For years, Timex has been the go-to brand for people worldwide looking for the time on their wrist at a great price. And I would argue that Timex has in fact cultivated its brand cachet as well as some of the luxury heavy hitters. 

During these stay-at-home self-isolation days, watch enthusiasts are finding more time to immerse themselves in Instagram and other social media featuring plenty of high-end, high-complication eye candy. This is all well and good, however I propose that an occasional palate cleanser is needed and that the Timex Q Reissue fills that role perfectly.

When a brand has accumulated history and a deep archive, inevitably it can start to draw new customers by reprising the past, especially while appetites for styles of yore are not exactly on the wane. Timex has done just that with last year’s Q Reissue. The origin story of this watch emerging in the late 1970s as a budget alternative to the GMT-Master while simultaneously pushing quartz into the mainstream of watch-buying consciousness is well known, so let’s take some time to focus on what makes this Q Reissue a great addition to any collection in 2020.

Timex Q review

Starting out, the Q Reissue is possibly the most affordable way to experience the 1970s aesthetic in watch form. The sharp bevelled case and somewhat integrated bracelet combine with the 38mm diameter to absolutely nail the proportions. Like all modern watch revivals, the Q Reissue adds in current-decade manufacturing quality, which makes it a pleasure to hold, and quite sturdy. The woven stainless-steel bracelet almost steals the show and is comfortable on the wrist once you’ve managed to wrestle the maddening hook-and-latch clasp shut. I have to say it does not feel quite as secure compared to many other steel bracelets with deployant clasps. Overall, the look of the Q is industrial chic without being too busy.

Timex Q review

Colour is used in a similarly 1970s way with a dark blue and red Pepsi bezel and an inky dark blue dial. This dial is a great contrast to the off-white large hour marker lume plots. Clear and concise time display is the order of the day here. Functionally, there is also a day and date window at three o’clock but I find myself pining for a time-only Q which would maximise the colourway effect going on here. That said, the embedded value that quartz offered in the late 1970s meant packing in as many features as possible and a Q Reissue could only stay true to that ethos. The look is finished off with an extremely thin red seconds hand ticking away around the dial. 

Timex Q review

Nestled within my watch box, the Q Reissue is instantly ready to wear as a great weekend watch. In keeping with a low-effort Sunday morning, it is easy to pair it with a comfortable worn-in sweater and jeans and not have to do any winding or setting. Similar to other vintage pieces I have experienced, the Q reveals many cool looks depending on the viewing angle and lighting. This is a watch that gives the owner a multitude of vintage-inspired visual cues including the domed acrylic crystal. Most of all, it becomes a watch that reminds the owner not to take watch collecting too seriously all the time. The simple ease of use that quartz brings to the table is embodied by the no-brainer battery hatch on the caseback which is clearly meant to be opened with any old coin.

Timex Q review

At under $300AUD, the Timex Q Reissue is a compelling buy, whether you’re just starting out in watch collecting, need a gift for a watch-nerd friend, or you’re a long-time enthusiast who can’t justify springing for the grail in these uncertain times but wants a fresh face in the collection. This little ticker might just surprise you.