The Timex IQ Chrono Timer: A quality timepiece

The last thing I was looking for was a real watch.

I haven’t worn a watch since I was in my late teens. I’m not exactly sure what happened to the one I used to wear at school. I think I left it at home when I went to University. By that point I had a crazily expensive mobile phone that boasted “a clock facility” as a key feature.

I didn’t look back.

I’m now 38. So about 20 years have passed since I walked through the hallowed Quadrangle of University College London, stared in awe at the wax figurine of the founder Jeremy Bentham (still on display) and began the rest of my life with a naked left wrist.

I’ve never worn a watch since then.

Until Apple.

Actually, strictly speaking, I started messing around with watches when the first generation of Android Wearables came out. The various models I tested never lasted that long and until the Apple Watch was delivered, I was resolutely free from a watch.

I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch more or less every single day since I got hold of one. If you ask me why (and I do ask myself this quite a lot) the ultimate answer is I like the alerts and I really like the fact it’s tracking my steps and fitness. I like to see those little fitness rings complete by the end of the day.

Then I had an email from a watch manufacturer asking if I’d like to try out one of their new range. Indeed, the email said, “Have a look, pick one, and we’ll send you one.”

Sounds good, so far?

Well, the challenge I had is committing to actually wearing something that wasn’t an Apple Watch.

I’m fine with that. Anything else, though? No. A real watch? And actual real one that does nothing but tell the time? I’m fine thanks.

That’s how I reacted initially.

And then I decided to try it out.

Have a look…

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I selected what I reckoned was a distinctive looking timepiece (as they’re called in the trade).

I deliberately scoured the list of available styles and looked for something that I felt was a bit manly and that would match with a suit or a shirt.

Combined with the pinstripe suit and white shirt (with some Mont Blanc cufflinks) and the watch certainly looks distinctive. It fits.

So let’s get to the brand itself: Timex. The model you see above is the Timex IQ Chrono Timer and it retails for a recommended retail price of £159.99. 

It’s a thoroughly well known brand. I think my first digital watch was Timex. Yours, too, right?

I’ve got an affectionate place in my early memory for the brand, however, it’s not necessarily right there, front of mind, for me. Or it wasn’t.

Indeed, if I was going to buy a watch, I’d probably be thinking of something priced in the thousands.

I’m not sure why. I think it’s because that’s what some of my friends and colleagues do. I know a few good friends who absolutely obsess over their timepieces.

With this Timex IQ Chrono Timer, though, I’ve been really enjoying it.

From a feature standpoint, it’s waterproof to 100m. It’s got independent bi-directional motors and six dial hands! It also has an alarm function plus there’s also a 2 year guarantee.

I set myself an objective of wearing it for a week to give it a good enough innings, enough for me to evaluate how I felt — and, if I’m brutally honest, how everyone else reacted.

Before I knew it, I was into the second week of testing. Just, you know, just to be sure.

The third week passed and by then I realised I did very much enjoy the feel of the Timex on my wrist. I also liked looking at the ‘screen’ — or the face. I am particularly pleased I haven’t actually had to charge it. At all. I know that sounds very silly — but in the background I am continually thinking about available battery on all of my devices. So it’s rather refreshing not to have to worry about my watch.

Interesting. I just caught myself using the phrase, ‘my watch’. It’s been growing on my continually.

I do like the weight. It feels substantial on my wrist.

It has been bumping on things. I am purposefully trying to avoid this, but now and again, it does bump against things, especially when I’m trying to climb out of the tube during the commute, or rounding a corner in the office. Goodness knows what I’d do if it was a £10k watch I was accidentally bumping. Not only is the Timex very sturdy, it seems to be particularly impervious to the knocks and bumps I’ve exposed it to.

I really do react well to the cost.

The recommended retail price is £159.99. I found it on ShadeStation (first result via a generic Google Search for ‘Timex IQ Chrono Timer’) at £143.10 with free delivery.

At that price I am highly tempted to get a few.

The key test for me was how people reacted — in the office and out and about.

At first, no one noticed.

What I mean is this: If you see the watch peaking out of the shirt and suit as you do on the following photo, I don’t actually think you’d look twice — I think the watch looks super!

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The rose gold combined with the blue face is a bold combination, but I don’t think it looks out of place. That is the key deliverable for me: The Timex fits into my work wardrobe effortlessly.

Similarly, when I’m dressed a little more casually, it sits nicely on the wrist.

I’m sure there are folk who can spot that it’s a Timex — but I can’t. I think the vast majority of us don’t really notice, beyond noting a ‘nice watch on the wrist’.

I did some surveying of my work colleagues after a few days and weeks. Some had certainly noticed the new watch.

When queried, everyone was under the impression I was sporting some kind of special watch. Some brand. Something substantial. Because I like my well made suits. So the Timex didn’t appear out of the ordinary.

I highlighted the brand to them and got a lot of surprised looks. Likewise friends and family have just assumed it was an expensive timepiece. It looks the part!

I reckon a selection of these Timex watches would be quite a useful addition to the wardrobe ensemble.

I just had a look on the Timex website and immediately spotted this one — it’s called The Waterbury Chronograph and is only £89!  (Or £81 on Shade Station)

I definitely like the idea of something like this for the weekend! I particularly like the aged strap.

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And then I came across another one as I was flicking about the Timex website:

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That’s the Timex Quartz Yacht Racer. I love the gizmos on this. I’ve no idea about sailing yachts but I reckon this one might look good on my wrist. Until, that is, someone says to me, “Oh, you’re a sailor?”. Yeah, not quite. This one’s a £199 RRP!

I like to have nice things. I like to have quality things — hence the name of this blog — and often, ‘nice’ and ‘quality’ can often mean a considerable cost. With this Timex range I’m impressed. It’s a good reminder — a good reset. You don’t need to fork out thousands to be delighted. I think two or three of these from the latest Timex range in the drawer with one on the wrist would be ideal.

Thank you to the team from Timex for getting in touch and suggesting I try the watch.

If you’ve any questions let me know in the comments.

Here’s the gallery of photos I took…

 

 

 

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One Response to The Timex IQ Chrono Timer: A quality timepiece

  1. Gareth James October 24, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    Well what took you so long?! No, seriously I am glad to see that someone else has rediscovered what it means to wear a watch! And unlike your 361 degrees co-host, one B. Smith, I am glad to see that you haven’t gone down the route of the “classic” Rolex or some such. Not that I have anything against that sort of watch but I do view my watches as a tool. No, there is nothing wrong with buying the right tool for you, and I do think that that IQ Chrono seems to suit you very well, but spending five figures or more on a watch, no, I can’t get my head around that.

    I never stopped wearing a watch, which at times, especially around ten years ago, marked me out as rather odd as everyone just started relying solely on their phones. And yes, I have been a Timex man nearly all my life! Yes, my first watch was a little analogue Timex, I graduated from that to a digital Timex for comprehensive school and then by the time my A-Levels rolled round I was firmly into the Timex Ironman watch range and apart from a daft, ill advised, trip into Casio land for a year in Uni I have had a Timex as my main watch ever since! Last month I brought my latest one to replace a three year old Expedition that had lived a very hard life and ended up in pieces after one to many hard falls, and I went for this, the newest Expedition Field Chronograph (http://global.timex.com/watches/expedition-field-chronograph-t499059j). As I insist on having an all Velcro, normally Animal branded, watch strap on it (I work as a chef an it’s much much easier to keep clean) the wife insists that I have a “dress watch” for when she wants me to look respectable on a night out and things so that was easy, a simple, but elegant, Timex Men’s Dress watch (http://global.timex.com/watches/timex-mens-dress-t2p027kw). As far as it goes I think I wear that for all told about a week out of the year, but it is a nice watch.

    I have never got into the whole Android/Apple watch thing, mainly the charging thing and the fact that sometimes I just like to turn my phone right down and ignore it! But for my fitness watch my wife and I have been using Polar (well she is Finnish and we do live in Finland…) for years and I have a black, men’s, FT60. Ideal for in the gym, on the bike, in the pool or on the ski’s. No it doesn’t do GPS but my phone handles that much better! And the battery life is measured in terms of months rather than days or hours!

    While I can admire the geek factor of that yacht watch I must say I find their “Fly Back” range (http://global.timex.com/watches/intelligent-quartz-fly-back-chronograph-t2n931za) much cooler! And if you really want maximum “weekend” geek mode I think you can’t go wrong with one of their Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Electronic Compass (http://global.timex.com/watches/intelligent-quartz-tide-temp-compass-t49859dh) watches! The face that they fit all of that into an analogue face is just brilliant. I considered one of these, very seriously, but (a) it only reads down to -20C and we have much colder weather up here in the winter and (b) living this far North I have found other “electronic” compasses to be less than 100% accurate. But when I am next back in the U.K. I will hunt down a store and try to see how it goes.

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