Timex is introducing an entirely new Marlin. The Marlin line has been incredibly successful for the brand and has formed the foundation for its automatic retro watches. While Timex has had its success with plenty of quartz reissues, the mechanical Marlin line is more appealing for many enthusiasts. While not as vibrant and radical in its design, the Marlin has delivered a number of classically styled, vintage-inspired watches in modest proportions (and a watch with Snoopy on it). The all-new Timex Marlin Jet Automatic builds on the family with a new case and crystal design and a 60s-driven aesthetic that delivers what may well be another surefire hit for the brand.

The case on the Timex Marlin Jet Automatic is entirely new for both the Marlin line and Timex as a whole. The brushed stainless steel case measures 38mm in diameter with a 47mm lug-to-lug and a 13.5mm height. That translates to a pretty modest wrist presence, despite the lift provided by the 19mm blue perlon strap.  (Yes, it’s 19m. Yes, it’s the right proportion for this case and I still hate it. And yes, Timex did a great job in improving the basic perlon by adding a leather tab to the end to prevent fraying.) While it seems tall for a 38mm watch, on the wrist it remains quite manageable. That wearability is thanks to the improved lug design and the dramatic domed Hesalite crystal.

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Instead of the fully polished, straight-lugged design of almost every other Marlin, the new Jet Automatic gets a more modern design with lugs that flow from the round case and curve downward, letting it hug the wrist more effectively than its siblings. There’s a pull-out crown that introduces a new “T” crown logo and features a ringed grip that is part of a repeated motif you’ll see throughout the watch; the model has 50m water resistance. The standout here, without a doubt, is the superdome Hesalite crystal. I’m guessing someone at Timex saw or handled a TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox and just couldn’t resist, and I’m not upset about it. The crystal comes up out of the midcase almost seamlessly, and envelopes a polished bezel with the Marlin name printed in black at 6 and 12, with that same concentric circle motif seen in the crown grip. It’s something that I didn’t see at first, but when I did, had me completely giddy for its creativity.

The dial of the Timex Marlin Jet Automatic recalls that of the Marlin Sub-Dial Automatic models that were released last year, but is far more refined. The polished Marlin bezel mentioned above forms the rim of the dial’s caldera, as it were: The dial is a convex bowl with cutouts in the edge for the applied indices and a subtle frosted finish that gives it a bit of luster. Where the other subdial models had flat dials with an unfortunate date window, the new Marlin Jet ditches the date and adds a very retro reticle. The hands, like the indices, have a black-filled line, but no lume, which is fine by me; the polish of both allowed it to catch enough light in dimmer situations for a quick read. That said, I wouldn’t rely on this at night. I feel a need to remark on the sunken subdial. I love it from a layout and overall visual perspective, but the utility of a 24-hour dial, especially on a no-date watch, is questionable at best.

Like last year’s subdial models, the Timex Marlin Jet Automatic uses the Japanese automatic Miyota 8217. It’s visible through the caseback crystal (which is circled by that same ring motif) and offers 42 hours of power at 21,600 vph. The 8217 here includes a carved-out rotor to allow the full workings to be on display, and the plates have some nice striping. It’s not haute horlogerie, but for the price, it’s surprisingly attractive. While the movement does have a phantom date position when setting, it does offer hacking for precise setting.

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It’s hard to argue against this kind of value. Usually, this level of design would cost quite a bit more, regardless of how well or poorly it’s executed. Here, Timex delivers another killer design with quality that hits well above its price point. I’m encouraged by this take on the Marlin, and I’m hopeful that its a new direction for the entire line, not just a one-off for this particular watch. All hail the Timex Glassbox! The Timex Marlin Jet Automatic is priced at $289 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website

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