Review: Timex Q Timex GMT
In 2019, Timex launched a campaign against watchmaking bull crap by releasing the Q Timex Reissue. This 70s inspired, character-rich timepiece didn’t cost thousands of bucks or come with a whole fancy spiel—it just was, and what it was, was cheap. Now they’ve done a GMT version, and it’s the same—but now it’s a GMT version. Is that a good thing?
Since 1854, Timex has been about one thing: affordability. Made for the Average Joe, Timex had no intention of breaking records or setting milestones. It let everyone else get on with that. And, meanwhile, whilst the others where all patting themselves on the back for climbing the tallest mountain and diving the deepest ocean, Timex was quietly busy selling over 100 million watches. Pile them all on top of each other and the mound would be so big Rolex could send someone to the summit wearing a themed special edition.
Nah. Timex is keeping it simple. Bread and butter. Milk and cookies. The rest can keep their foams and aromatics. It’s the reason Timex is so successful. Luxury is fine for a bit, but people get sick of it. Like foie gras, it’s just too rich to live on. Buy too many watches steeped in innovation this and tradition that and you’ll end up getting watch gout.
You may think Rolex ruled the roost in the 1960s, but the reality is that one in every three watches sold was a Timex. It’s a simple formula: if you couldn’t afford anything else, you got a Timex. The Mustang was popular for the same reason. We all want the best, but more often than not we have to settle for what we can have, and Timex was willing to oblige.
There’s a strange, quiet honour in doing that. You’ll never be the master or the hero, no one will ever sing your praises or tell great stories about you. Except—that’s actually not true. Timex trundled along as it has always done through the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st, unobtrusively furnishing everyone from labourers to presidents with its watches, playing the long game and biding its time. Sometimes nice guys really do finish first.
Its time came in 2019 when a palette cleanser was needed after the colossal horological booze-up of the 2010s. It all started off as fun and games when we could buy and sell watches without losing money and maybe even make some, enjoying the unearned fruits of our greed up until one day we all woke up and couldn’t afford our favourite watches anymore.
It’s a time like that when you need friends most, the ones you left behind when you went on that massive watch bender—the ones that are still there when you come back, tail between your legs. You were promised the tips of the tallest mountains and the valleys of the deepest oceans but actually they beat you up and left you penniless.
It was the Timex Q Timex Resissue that was that friend all along. At just £159—sometimes less on one of the many offers Timex has—it was ready to set you right. It didn’t promise high complication, or mechanical intricacy, but it was a good, solid watch that you could buy and enjoy guilt free.
For that reason, it’s become a legend in its own way. It’s perfectly imperfect: shrouded with a plastic crystal, powered by a battery you’re expected to change yourself, and strapped on with a bracelet that has a vendetta against your arm hair. It’s all good, character affirming stuff, though, and feels like a recipe that should be well left alone. Does adding a GMT function spoil a good thing by slapping an old friend in the face?
The most important part of the Timex formula that’s been changed here isn’t the additional complication, it’s the price. An extra £41 is required to make your Q Timex travel ready, adding the famous GMT hand so well popularised by the luxury watchmaker also well known for the same GMT bezel colouration you see here.
Funnily enough, the visual difference between the GMT and non-GMT versions is very slight, since the original had a similarly coloured twelve-hour bezel which could in theory be used to track an alternate time zone anyway. So, it makes you wonder what the point of this new one is. Yes, the bezel is now more usefully subdivided into twenty-four hours and the extra hand means you can be sure you won’t wake up whoever it is you’re phoning back home, but … is that really worth it for £41?
Maybe not, if that was the bottom line, but good old best friend Timex hasn’t just let us sleep on his couch, he’s given up his bed and made you a nice hot cup of cocoa as well. There’s a raft of improvements that you’d completely miss if you weren’t to have them pointed out, all little things that make the experience that extra bit nicer.
For one, the quartz Seiko movement has been transplanted for a Swiss one, made by industry staple Ronda. As with any good friend, Timex didn’t rub it in your face, they just left a little note at the foot of the dial. Speaking of the dial, that’s just got a neat little date now instead of the day and date, plus a new matte finish, and the markers get metal surrounds, too. It’s a nicer experience, and that’s nice.
But best of all is the bracelet. No more will it nip at your forearm like a blunted lawnmower. The design has been updated to provide an experience that is hirsute-friendly. Basically, you complained the bed your friend had let you stay in was lumpy and when you came back the next day they’d bought a new mattress for you. They’re just that kinda guy.
So, Timex has been working hard behind the scenes to make its detox watch even better, and most people probably won’t even appreciate or even notice it. But then, that’s what the best of friends are for, to help you not just when you need it most, but also when you deserve it least. It’s here to dry your eyes when the Rolex AD sends you home empty-handed yet again, to pick you up when the Patek Philippe you were saving for gets a jump in RRP.
It knows that you’ll abuse it, that you’ll ultimately abandon it, but still it diligently does its duty; not just for you but for millions of others, too. It wants the time you spend with it to be a respite, however brief, from the bloated hangover you’ve learnt to live with for so many years. It wants to improve itself, even if you don’t, so when you come back to it it’s even better than ever. All that for the price of a good meal out. Friends don’t get better than that.
I hope you enjoyed this look into the Timex Q Timex GMT. What do you think of it? Would you buy one over the standard watch, or even trade from one to the other?