Q Timex Reissue Review – A 1970s Design in a Modern Package
By: Andrew Gatto
It’s no secret that, at least in recent years, watch manufacturers have been sifting through their back catalog and re-releasing some of their most popular models. This trend hasn’t been exclusive to top Swiss brands, but even some of the most affordable watch companies have been jumping on the bandwagon. Timex, the popular department store watch brand that many of us have first-hand experience with, has been releasing some interesting vintage-inspired pieces in the past few years. They have continued this trend by reissuing their game-changing Q Timex quartz watch from 1979.
With the quartz crisis well underway in the late 1970s, many watch brands were threatened by this new technology and felt it would affect the sales of mechanical watches. Timex was different. They knew quartz had numerous benefits over traditional mechanical movements and they wanted to help it go mainstream. Although not their first quartz watch, the Q Timex was one of their most popular models because of its pleasing design and “Pepsi” rotating bezel. Originally released in 1979, Timex wanted everyone to know this was a quartz watch by branding it “Q” and proudly printing “QUARTZ” in bold font on the dial. They were not ashamed or embarrassed about this new technology, a stance that has made them a highly successful watch brand today.
The 1970s Styled Case
With many watch brands enlarging their reissue pieces to make them more modern, it’s a breath of fresh air to see that Timex avoided this and stuck with the original 38mm size. They should be applauded for this design decision as it is such a comfortable and universal size for most men and women who put it on the wrist. They also kept the Q’s truly unique hooded lug design that really looks like it just jumped out of the 1970s. The hooded lugs angle sharply from the flat case top, creating an eye-catching visual effect that is accentuated by its nicely brushed surface. The case sides are not completely flat or rounded; rather they feature two polished facets that create a gentle curve while adding a bit of personality. Timex has yet again decided to include a throwback feature in the form of an easily removable battery door on the caseback. The small door can be opened using a coin or household screwdriver, allowing anyone to replace the battery without having to travel to or pay a jeweler. The brushed caseback is relatively plain with some stamped model and origin information. It is secured to the case by four screws, which in theory, should never need to be removed thanks to the handy battery door.
Moving to the top of the watch, the most prominent feature you will find is the beautiful “Pepsi” 12-hour bezel surrounding the crystal. Many will compare the Q’s bezel to that of the Rolex GMT Master II, which is fair considering they both share a similar color scheme, but they are obviously in different leagues when it comes to quality. Instead of the typical 60 or 120 click bezels we are used to today, the bezel on the Q reissue is friction lock and can rotate in both directions. It requires just the right amount of force to rotate, yet it feels silky smooth with no grinding or other imperfections. The base of the bezel is finished in what appears to be blue anodized aluminum that closely matches the bezel. It is a welcome detail that takes a good eye to recognize.
To further the accurate reproduction of the Q Timex reissue, the brand used a nicely domed acrylic crystal that gives some period correct vintage charm. The domed crystal stands about 2.7mm proud of the bezel, which in turn makes for an impressive side profile not often seen in modern watches.
Q Timex Navy Blue Dial
A matte navy blue dial provides the Q easy readability and a great deal of cohesion with the Pepsi bezel. The hour markers are printed with a fair amount of yellowed “aged” lume that gives the appearance of the watch being patinated. Although a contentious trend that some enthusiasts frown upon, Timex’s use of aged lume in this model is tastefully done and not too over the top. In low light, the lume glows green and is easy to read in nearly all lighting conditions. When the original Q Timex was introduced, the brand wanted to tell the world that this watch was using a modern (for its time) quartz movement by printing “Q TIMEX” near 12 o’clock and “QUARTZ” near the 6 o’clock position in unmistakable white text. I’m glad to see the reissue piece has mirrored this quartz branding, as it gives it yet another vintage nod that is quite unique to Timex. At the 3 o’clock position, two separate windows are cut out of the dial for the day and date functions to be read.
Timex has used the same aged lume that is found on the dial and applied it to the silver hour and minute hands. The hands slightly resemble the Mercedes design found on many Rolex models and are nicely proportional to the rest of the dial. The hour hand nearly reaches all of the markers while the minute hand touches the minute track on the outer edge of the dial to allow easy reading. The second hand is painted solid red for immediate recognition.
The Woven Bracelet
The woven stainless steel bracelet hearkens back to the original Q Timex’s design and comfort by being light yet flexible. At first glance, the tightly woven bracelet may look like an expandable one found on other Timex models, but it actually remains fixed. It is easily adjusted by moving a locking plate back and forth on the bracelet depending on your wrist size. The clasp is secured to the locking plate with a solid click and requires a fair amount of upward pressure to remove. Accidentally opening shouldn’t be an issue the wearer needs to be concerned about.
The bracelet has a significant taper from 21.5mm where it meets the case to 16mm at the ends. This taper creates an aesthetically pleasing bracelet profile that improves comfort while looking good. The actual lug width is 18mm and could accommodate aftermarket straps of this size. However, the factory bracelet is a perfect match for this piece.
Quartz Movement in the Q Timex
Under the hood is a basic, yet reliable, Seiko made quartz movement with day and date complications. The date is quickset for fast changes but the day is completely manual, requiring you to rotate the hands to change it. This struck me as odd for a modern quartz movement but it was likely a way to keep production costs as low as possible. A 377 silver oxide battery powers the Q and is easily replaced by the owner via the battery door on the caseback.
The distinctive quartz “tick” is certainly audible but by no means annoying or distracting to the wearer or neighbors. If you are accustomed to a silent digital or quiet mechanical watch, the Q’s “tick” will take some time to get used to but will eventually be unnoticeable to you.
Timex has been on a roll in recent years with re-releasing some of the most popular models from their past. The Q Timex is no exception. It has an eye-catching color scheme, comfortable design, and vintage charm from a brand you might not expect. At 38mm, it sits incredibly well on the wrist and is an overall stunner considering the $179 USD price on Timex.com. The case construction and finishing are well above the average Timex watch, which was a welcomed surprise. With that being said, I would’ve liked to see them design this piece with 100m of water resistance rather than just 50m. The added water resistance would’ve given the wearer more peace of mind if they took the Q to the beach or pool. Unlike some brands that are jumping on the reissue train, Timex has decided to make the Q reissue a regular production model and not a limited edition. This is a great decision from Timex as the Q reissue is an amazing piece that should be on as many wrists as possible.
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Q Timex Specs:
- Case Diameter: 38mm
- Case Thickness: 11.5mm (including crystal)
- Lug to Lug: 45mm
- Weight: 86.5g
- Case: Stainless Steel
- Bracelet: Stainless Steel
- Water Resistance: 50m
- Movement: Seiko Quartz with Day/Date
- Bezel: Bi-directional Rotating 12-hour
Andrew has been interested in watches since his college years after casually reading about them online. After learning about the attention to detail and engineering put into mechanical movements, he was hooked and has been a self confessed enthusiast ever since. His main interests are automatic stainless steel sport watches that he can wear everyday and will survive his active lifestyle. When he’s not reading or writing about watches, Andrew enjoys hiking, exploring and traveling with his family.