If you had to ask people about their first watch memory or purchase, 9 out of 10 would say something about a Timex.
Whether walking by a big box department store and seeing Timex watches in the display case to discovering the infamous Micky Mouse moving hands, almost everyone has a Timex story.
Timex is an American brand so rich in history that is almost feels like a rite of passage for many watch enthusiasts. Many would consider a collection incomplete without at least one Timex.
For over a century, Timex, one of the oldest watch companies in the world, has been delivering quality timepieces at extremely affordable prices. They’ve continued to innovate while remaining true to their core principle of simplistic design.
History Of Timex
It’s hard to imagine, but Timex started in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company in Waterbury Connecticut, making it one of the world’s oldest watch companies.
During that time, Timex focused on standard clocks and eventually moved into pocket watches, which were immensely popular and even garnered the attention of Mark Twain.
These $1 watches foreshadowed Timex’s general approach to watchmaking: quality and affordability.
Timex didn’t know it at the time, but these pocket watches also eventually became their motivating force behind their launch into wrist watches.
Timex took the popularity of their pocket watches and made a few modifications, most notably moving the stem and adding straps to produce a wrist watch.
However, just as the company was taking off, the great depression hit and took many brands down.
Timex, however, partnered with Disney and produced the now infamous Mickey Mouse watch. These watches would end up becoming a phenomenon and sold amazingly well. More importantly, it established Timex as a stable brand.
Timex, under different names at the time, continued to dabble in other businesses such as military technology and, in 1950, launched watches and a guiding principle that focused on quality that would continue to define the company today.
Timex made a commitment to deliver affordable, technologically advanced watches that focused on simplistic time-telling.
Since then, the brand has continued to offer innovative and functional pieces at affordable prices and has become a mainstay in the watch community.
What Makes Timex Special and Are Timex Watches Good?
As always, before we give you the list of the best watches from any brand, we want to tell you why we think the brand is special. After all, you may be wondering, “Are Timex watches any good?”
Timex proves that price and quality can have a complementary relationship. Too often, watcher buyers think that a higher price = higher quality.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a few watchmakers, that proves to be largely a myth. Timex has proven that you can get amazing quality, stylish watches for extremely low costs. That’s why the brand shows up multiple times on our list of the best watches under $100.
Another special quality that we love about Timex watches is the fact that nearly everyone can wear them. If you’re a high school senior, Timex watches can make you look sophisticated. College students and young adults looks fashionable and ‘smart.’
And finally, older customers look fun and refreshing. Timex has perfected the art of not taking themselves too seriously and reminding wearers to stay young at heart.
5 Best Timex Watches
Here are our favorites…
1. Timex Ironman Classic
Any list of the best Timex watches has to start with the ultra slim and lightweight Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch, a watch many consider the best Timex digital watch.
In fact, it’s probably one of the best digital watches ever. This watch is a legend for watch enthusiasts and is often the first watch many people think of when they think of Timex.
The Timex Ironman is the most functional watch on this list with 100m water resistance, legible face, countdown timer, alarm and backlight, all for under $50.
If you love G-Shock functionality, but find even their small watches still a little too large, the Timex Ironman is the watch for you. This watch is the standard bearer for runners and swimmers.
It is also extremely durable and will last a few lifetimes. And if you’re concerned about style, this watch was a favorite of none other than President Bill Clinton. He even wore it with a suit when he was President.
While we are partial to the classic black and grey color, if you’re looking for a more fashion-forward choice, the Timex Ironman Classic can be had in dark blue and lime colors as well.
2. Timex Unisex Weekender
The Weekender is another quintessential Timex that represents what the brand truly stands for: simplicity, function and style.
In fact, many think the Weekender is the best watch at its price point because of its versatility, feature set and of course, rich history. It’s probably among the best affordable analog watches, period.
The Weekender is a 38mm quartz watch with a brass case and mineral crystal face. The Weekender also features 30M water resistance,a clean watch face with minimal branding and a 24-hour indicator at each hour.
The Weekender also features Timex’s popular Indiglo light-up dial. All of this comes in at roughly $40.
The Weekender comes in a number of different color options including a black and white dial with a variety of strap combinations. This makes the Weekender an extremely popular option for fashion forward individuals or those looking for a functional, yet stylish timepiece.
We prefer the olive green option with a nato strap as it fits in a number of different environments and fits the aesthetics of the watch.
3. Timex Marlin
While many think of Timex as a quartz-only company, they have impressive automatic options as well. Shortly after Timex refocused their efforts from wartime endeavors, they released the Timex Marlin.
The Marlin was an understated automatic dress watch that’s now considered a vintage grail for many watch collectors. In fact, it’s the best Timex automatic watch by a long shot. But instead of making you hunt for a true vintage, Timex released the Marlin reissue in 2017.
The new version, like its predecessor, is a simple 34mm dress watch in stainless steel. It features a hand-winding movement along with a brushed silvered dial. Most vintage watches are in the four or five figure range. However, the Marlin is an absolute bargain at $200.
4. Timex+Todd Snyder The Military Watch
Some brands will pursue collaborations that feel inauthentic as a money grab. However, some unions feel natural and proper.
Timex and menswear company Todd Snyder collaborated to bring a new, fresh face to the Timex watches we all know and love.
As a result, Timex+Todd Snyder released a number of amazingly popular watches, including the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Inspired watch, which became an instant classic.
However, we love vintage styles with military roots. As a result, we think the Timex+Todd Snyder Military Watch is not only one of the best Timex watches, but one of the best watches available.
The Military Watch has a 40mm dial, analog quartz movement and simple detailed styling. It is housed in a stainless-steel case and offers Indiglo illumination. It comes on an olive-nato strap.
However, our favorite feature is the tasteful placement of the broad arrow at the 6 o’clock position, which screams military cool. All of this can be had for under $100.
5. Timex Men’s Classic Digital Watch
We love retro cool and the Timex Men’s Classic Digital Watch oozes it more than most.
The Timex Classic Digital T78677 is a lightweight digital watch that pulls from oversized blazers and acid-washed jeans. It features a fully legible face that displays the time and date, a 100-hour chronograph, two time zones and of course, their famous Indiglo light.
However, our favorite part of the watch is that it gives the wearer an effortlessly cool vibe. Some retro items feel forced, but the T78677 doesn’t look like it’s trying too hard. More importantly, the watch can be had for around $40.
Timex is one of the oldest and most respected brands in watchmaking today. It continues to innovate with aggressive collaborations and offers a classic catalog of watches that every true watch enthusiast has had at one point.
Timex watches are stylish and, more importantly, durable.
As the popular slogan declares, they “take a licking and keep on ticking.”
T Flynn says
With the exception of new releases Marlins were manual wind. Timex automatic watches were called Viscount.
Barrie Marshall says
My step mothers former husband was called up to the army in the Second World War he needed a watch so bought the cheapest timed watch he could find people said it would not last long he still erring it when he died many years later in the 1970’s.
A. s. Mathew says
Though a low priced watch, Timex is a quality watch. Bought the first one in 1971 while landed in the U.S. for studies from the Book store, gave me loyal service for a very long time.
Kenneth Davis says
I just bought an analog Timex watch online with the “number” date in a window next to the 3. Finding this Timex watch available online, but not in a “brick and mortal store” was what I was looking for. I have tired of digital watches with the time and date displayed in numbers, and cryptic combinations of button pushes to set the time and date. I am now retired, and decided all I need is the simplicity of analog time, the number of the day of the month displayed, and the Indiglo light for reading the time in the dark. For less that $50, I got all that in silver tone and an springy expanding wristband that fits my wrist perfectly. My daughter confused it with a watch I got for high school graduation in 1965 for which my parents paid about $100. She was right to be confused, because it has similar classic black characters on white background, digits 1 through 12 around the dial, silver tone case/wristband, and all the hands including a sweeping second hand. But the watch from 1965 didn’t have Indiglo or the date digit display. My daughter’s reaction reinforced for me my impression that my new Timex watch is a simple classic without question a good value. I am fascinated with complex watch mechanisms, but having a watch face cluttered with complexity does not help me tell the time and date easier. The clutter makes it more difficult to read what a watch is made to report–time, and maybe the date. And I can wear this watch ANYWHERE with ANYTHING.
I back in 2001 I bought a timex icontrol watch with an analog alarm. I loved it. I have had this watch for nearly 20 years. Yes this was a $45 watch. Ihave had to change the battery 4 times. The alarms dont work as well,looks a little worn but it keeps good time. This watch it my go to.it has outlasted 3 Relics and 2 Pulsars. I will never buy either one of these brands again.
David V Myers says
I remember the TV newsman, John Patrick Swayzy (sp?), Advertising Timex watches by mounting one of their watches to a propeller blade of an outboard motor. The motor was mounted in a glass barrel and JPS cranked up the motor and ran it in gear for 15 or so seconds. Then, he dismounted the watch and theTV camera showed a close-up of the still running watch while Swayzy smiles in the background and says “Timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”
I was a very young boy of 6 watching our first loaned TV from my dad’s workplace. It made such an impression, I still remember it clearly some 68 years later. In that very same timeframe,. I received my first watch, a Mickey Mouse watch, which I proudly wrote to school and was the envy of all of the school boys I my class!
That was John Cameron Swayze. He was a newscaster who became more famous for his Timex commercials than his news reporting and he originated the famous “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”
Rebecca Galusha says
My Grandma always said ‘Timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.’