Contemporary Timex Mechanical

Contemporary Timex Mechanical

owen
owen

August 4th, 2001, 5:30 pm #1


I bought a new Timex mechanical two years ago at a WalMart Christmas sale in Canada. I simply liked the looks of it and it was $20. I had no idea it was mechanical till I got it home and have been mystified since. I went back but found all the other models in the display were quartz.

I'll post a photo when I have a digital camera in the house next. Meanwhile here's the thousand words.

No serial number, made in the Philippines. Original strap was medium brown leather.

White face with verdana bold black numbers, a date window, and a dark green center dot of half the face diameter. Slim, black, untapered hour and minute hands. Slim, silver, untapered second hand. Date characters and window are identical to a Marlin.

Case appears similar to a Marlin or Mercury (I always thought a Mercury was just a Marlin with a metal band; could someone clear that up for me?). Base metal with a satin finish similar to brushed aluminum. Back tapers to a snap-in stainless steel cap about half the full diameter of the watch.

I'm not sure why it has a removable back. All that greets you is a structural backplate almost the size of the opening and no apparent adjustments or way to proceed. A plate farther in states NO (0) JEWELS UNADJUSTED. I presume one removes the crystal to actually open it. There is no plastic visible inside, and the mechanism seems to fill the available space.

The green dot is just as simple as I described. Take a plain white face and add a centered dark green dot that's half the diameter of the face. Simple as a Japanese flag. For some reason it works aesthetically with the black verdana numbers and hands. Modern without being loud about it.

Face appears to be 30mm. Hope that's some help. I understand photos would be much more useful and will add them when I can.

Can't imagine what market a cheap mechanical is made for, or how it might be profitable. Niche fashion in Japan perhaps? They have a keen sense of the unusual.

Oh, and it loses a few minutes a day, just like the Marlin (Mercury?) I had as a kid around 1970.
Quote
Share

Alan N.
Alan N.

August 5th, 2001, 8:17 pm #2

Interesting story on this Timex. If you can post pictures, or email me pictures I can post them. Hard to say the story behind the watch. Was it some old stock laying around in a distributor's warehouse, made many years before you recently bought it? Maybe someone decided to clean out old items, and they wound up at WallMart?

Was it a "lone wolf" of a mechanical Timex, in the late twentieth century, some kind of vestige of a much earlier factory lot? The fact that you never saw it aqain at the same store suggests it might have been a fringe watch.

Companies do make different products for different markets, but I cannot think of a market which would motivate Timex enough to maintain a division of mechanical watchmaking, amidst the sea of millions of quartz watches they make. Your ideas of some niche market, in Japan, or elsewhere are good. Still, I think Timex would probably leave that niche to some other maker, a smaller trendier firm trying to capture a market that the mammoth Timex would not really bother with.

Or maybe there are some renegade retro-watchmakers in the Philippine factory, secretly making a few mechanicals a day, slipping them in with the rank and file quartz watches, and you happen to get one?

I still need to find out if the "military" Timex, black dial, in plastic green case, currently sold in a London store called Silvermans, is quartz or mechanical. It'a also made in the Philippines.

Either way, I think your watch is pretty unique.
Quote
Share

owen
owen

August 5th, 2001, 10:35 pm #3


I should be more clear about the sale at WalMart. It was a Christmas special. There was a separate Timex kiosk temporarily erected separate from the watch department.

I don't doubt much of the stock was old inventory. It'd be a good way for a vast outfit like Timex to clean its warehouses.

There were a few more copies of the model I bought. What they didn't have was any different mechanical models, at least the ones I asked to see. The sales clerk was a bored student who was a little intimidated that anyone would care what the movement was in a $20 watch, so I only asked about a few more.

I'm also not a collector (uh, yet?) and wasn't certain these were all that unusual. Opportunity missed.

The niche-market in Japan appeal I suggested would be because they're Timex. No other watch manufacuture's name is so entwined with "cheap" or "basic", so it wouldn't work as well for a smaller, trendier firm. Very subtle, sure, but keep in mind no one but the owner would know it's not a quartz; it's for a subtle consumer wanting a rather secret pleasure.

Pure speculation of course. Much more likely old stock going out the door, I just would have thought those movements would have been used up long before the modern style of this watch suggests, so I'm considering alternatives. Perhaps I'm way off estimating the era of the design. Perhaps it's from the early Eighties punk-pop fusion.

I quite like your, "maybe there are some renegade retro-watchmakers in the Philippine factory, secretly making a few mechanicals a day, slipping them in with the rank and file quartz watches." Much more fun in that explanation.
Quote
Share

RJ
RJ

August 5th, 2001, 11:52 pm #4

I bought a new Timex mechanical two years ago at a WalMart Christmas sale in Canada. I simply liked the looks of it and it was $20. I had no idea it was mechanical till I got it home and have been mystified since. I went back but found all the other models in the display were quartz.

I'll post a photo when I have a digital camera in the house next. Meanwhile here's the thousand words.

No serial number, made in the Philippines. Original strap was medium brown leather.

White face with verdana bold black numbers, a date window, and a dark green center dot of half the face diameter. Slim, black, untapered hour and minute hands. Slim, silver, untapered second hand. Date characters and window are identical to a Marlin.

Case appears similar to a Marlin or Mercury (I always thought a Mercury was just a Marlin with a metal band; could someone clear that up for me?). Base metal with a satin finish similar to brushed aluminum. Back tapers to a snap-in stainless steel cap about half the full diameter of the watch.

I'm not sure why it has a removable back. All that greets you is a structural backplate almost the size of the opening and no apparent adjustments or way to proceed. A plate farther in states NO (0) JEWELS UNADJUSTED. I presume one removes the crystal to actually open it. There is no plastic visible inside, and the mechanism seems to fill the available space.

The green dot is just as simple as I described. Take a plain white face and add a centered dark green dot that's half the diameter of the face. Simple as a Japanese flag. For some reason it works aesthetically with the black verdana numbers and hands. Modern without being loud about it.

Face appears to be 30mm. Hope that's some help. I understand photos would be much more useful and will add them when I can.

Can't imagine what market a cheap mechanical is made for, or how it might be profitable. Niche fashion in Japan perhaps? They have a keen sense of the unusual.

Oh, and it loses a few minutes a day, just like the Marlin (Mercury?) I had as a kid around 1970.
I was brousing through an online store that sold Timex, and they were divided by styles (men/women, analog/digital, etc).

But they were also divided by Movement Type. I checked and they had one mechanical movement. I think it was for a Barbie watch for girls.
Quote
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 9th, 2001, 5:17 am #5

I should be more clear about the sale at WalMart. It was a Christmas special. There was a separate Timex kiosk temporarily erected separate from the watch department.

I don't doubt much of the stock was old inventory. It'd be a good way for a vast outfit like Timex to clean its warehouses.

There were a few more copies of the model I bought. What they didn't have was any different mechanical models, at least the ones I asked to see. The sales clerk was a bored student who was a little intimidated that anyone would care what the movement was in a $20 watch, so I only asked about a few more.

I'm also not a collector (uh, yet?) and wasn't certain these were all that unusual. Opportunity missed.

The niche-market in Japan appeal I suggested would be because they're Timex. No other watch manufacuture's name is so entwined with "cheap" or "basic", so it wouldn't work as well for a smaller, trendier firm. Very subtle, sure, but keep in mind no one but the owner would know it's not a quartz; it's for a subtle consumer wanting a rather secret pleasure.

Pure speculation of course. Much more likely old stock going out the door, I just would have thought those movements would have been used up long before the modern style of this watch suggests, so I'm considering alternatives. Perhaps I'm way off estimating the era of the design. Perhaps it's from the early Eighties punk-pop fusion.

I quite like your, "maybe there are some renegade retro-watchmakers in the Philippine factory, secretly making a few mechanicals a day, slipping them in with the rank and file quartz watches." Much more fun in that explanation.
nt
Quote
Like
Share