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Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Just released is the new Timex Navi XL Automatic, which is the first mechanical watch in this collection and the first mechanical “military-style” sport watch from Timex. With a green dial, that distinct hour hand, and overall thoughtful proportions and finishes, this is an impressive offering from Timex. More importantly, it’s a lot of fun, style, and value at $260.

(Update: Timex has addressed the hour hand issue in their final production model that’s going to be available online this week. See image below for what the final product will look like)

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Timex has been executing a two-pronged strategy in the past few years, with the mission of increasing not only its mechanical watch offerings but also to reach two distinct buyer groups. On one end, there is the American Documents collection in the $500 range that was introduced earlier this year. Far more expensive than Timex watches that came before it, the American Documents watches are all about being “small-batch” American-made pieces. These were the first Swiss movements Timex introduced, while the Marlin automatic that came out last year in 2018 with a mechanical automatic movement added to collection’s  hand-wound edition. Now, the Navi XL Automatic is the first sport watch that Timex has introduced in its mid-tier $250 range of automatic movements that falls between the basic quartz offerings and the Swiss Ronda-powered American Documents collection.

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Sharing the same Miyota movement found in the also-recently released Waterbury, the Navi XL Automatic is the product of a brand that’s been paying attention to the “non-negotiables” of buyers in this price range. This price range is packed with homage watches, but not much in the way of design with at least a semblance of originality and a personality that has roots/history that are the brand’s own and not appropriated or simply made up. Definitely nothing that’s American. This is where Timex excels with the Navi XL Automatic.

The movement is what it is, and Timex has the word “Japan” engraved on the rotor right above its own logo. The Miyota movement has a 40-hour power reserve and isn’t finished with any extra frills or embellishments. It’s competent, and it doesn’t seem like Timex is trying to fool anyone.


Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

I like that the Navi XL Automatic doesn’t try to adhere to staunch vintage dive-watch design, as there is no shortage of that out there. The 24-hour markers give it a distinct field-watch vibe, as does the green dial, along with the tan applied indices. The square crown guard is a clearly borrowed and well-executed nod to the old 5512 Submariners.

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

The hands are legible, and I find the semi-skeletonized hours hand to be pretty cool, but I do have a gripe here, and it’s probably obvious. The circular ring doesn’t totally frame the digits on the 24-hour marker. It’s odd, since the hour hand on the quartz model that is also 41mm-wide does appear to fully frame the 24-hour digits. I also found the 13 and 24 digits on the 24-hour markers to be just a teensy bit too close to the Timex logo, but I think I’m just nitpicking, at this point. 

As shown in the rendering and mentioned at the top of the article, Timex fixed the short hour hand in the final production run of the watch.

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

As a cohesive whole, the green dial looks fantastic in person, as it’s not bright or too in-your-face. The hands, dial, and applied indices are all about as nice as you could expect for this price point and even a little higher. I presume there is going to be the usual split-opinion on the date window, which I personally have always found to be the most useful and practical complication on a watch. It reads well and isn’t too distracting, but the 15 from the 24 hour ring does elbow itself in at certain angles.

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

The Timex Navi XL case is water resistant to 100M. It’s sized at 41mm-wide and just around 12.5mm-thick with a lug-to-lug measurement of right at 50mm. The crown isn’t a screw-down, and one pull gets you the quick date adjustment, while two pulls lets you set the time. It’s not hacking seconds, though the minute hand is pretty receptive and without any “wobble” or oversensitivity when setting the time. The unidirectional rotating bezel isn’t the easiest to grip or adjust, but it does look and feel top-notch in terms of quality of finish.

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Timex Navi XL Automatic Watch Hands-On

The Timex Navi XL comes on a brown leather S.B Foot Tanning Co. strap with an easy strap-change system. It matches really well with the rest of the watch, and it’s very high-quality, even when you don’t consider price. Right now, Timex is introducing only this model of the Navi XL Automatic, though there will be additional versions coming some time in 2020. Again, price for the Timex Navi XL Automatic is $259 USD, and the watch should be available beginning later this week. You can learn more at

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  • Timex, put a steel caseback, remove the ‘cyclops’ and I’ll buy it.

    • Daniel Harper

      I second this. Solid caseback for sure. No Cyclops would be a big improvement, but for me I’d need one more thing: both hands need to be a couple mm longer so that the 13-24h is framed properly by the hour hand and the minute hand reaches the minute chapter ring. All that being done would make this a must have in my book

  • I suppose it has a 40-hours power reserve…

  • Entresting

    “40-day Power Reserve”? Impressive… 😉

  • TopKek

    Why are we still making watches for manlets? Please make a 46mm+ ver haha.

  • Lanternerouge

    American Documents are not automatic as the article suggests. And “last year in 2018”? Really?

    • ray h.

      Someone will read the article years and love he stated that.

      • Bilal Khan

        Oops, I meant Swiss and just bungled those two sentences! Thanks for pointing out

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Would you look at the state of that Cyclops window. Always thought it was just a daft idea. Inroduced in 1954 by Hans Wilsdorf on account his missis couldn’t read the time and it stuck ( no pun intended )

  • Independent_George

    The 13-24 hour markers not aligning within the Breguet hands is a glaring flaw, especially since the quartz model aligns.

    • Bilal Khan

      Timex agrees, and they addressed the issue for the final production model. I added the updated rendering near the top of the article

  • Charlie Sherlock

    It would be a better watch with a steel caseback, but for $250 it’s amazing value and really cool. Love the green.

  • Ayreonaut

    Interesting hour hand. Why didn’t they locate 13-24 so that it would fall into the circle?

    • Jonathan Hancock

      Probably wouldn’t be able to fit “Timex” on the dial. Im thinking the should’ve re-thought that hour hand.

    • Bilal Khan

      They just addressed it and the hands will do so in final production. I added an updated rendering near top of the article

  • PR

    Looks like the hour hand is not long enough?

    • Bilal Khan

      Addressed in final production, I just updated the article with a rendering

  • Mikita

    Too tiny and doesn’t resemble Sub enough. Miyota looks pretty thought, what a marvellous finishing technique.

  • larry

    Non Hacking is a deal breaker for me !!

  • gman cubsfan

    good looking watch but the hour hand not framing the 24 hour markers is a deal breaker. it looks like the person who did the face artwork goofed up. otherwise I would be 1st in line to buy one

    • Bilal Khan

      Yep, they just sent me a rendering that shows this issue addressed. You can see image near top of article

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    I really like the looks of this watch. Some small criticisms as noted in the article, but I could live with them. The major stumbling block for me is the non hacking movement. (no venom today)
    If Timex keeps moving forward, they may become a force in their market segment. I feel the price is a little high for what you get though.
    A competitor can give you ETA and sapphire for only $130 more.

    • ray h.

      Name names. Who @ $399 will love you long time ?

      • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

        Some of the recent Kickstarter brands offered ETA and Sellita for $399. “Done” was the last one to come to mind. Not a dive style watch though.

  • Jonathan Hancock

    I like what Timex is putting out these days. It seems to me, that $250 is the new starting price for a reliable watch of this type. This watch will be competing with the likes of Seiko 5 and their new sport models. I think this one is a bit more original and has some interesting and attractive design elements that make it stand out. It does have a few problems that hopefully can be corrected. Timex clearly does their best at putting out inexpensive but good quality watches that “take a lickin, and keep on tickin”. This is cheap enough that you can give it a lickin and has good enough materials to keep on tickin.
    It’s nice, do something about that hour hand and it’s perfect.

    • Bilal Khan

      And correct they did. See updated rendering near top of the article showing what final production hands will look like

  • PowNation

    At $269 this is a good dive watch with few minor complaints. Make a couple tweaks and add a ceramic bezel and you have a very good watch.

  • ray h.

    If it’s all done well ,even by accident by an intern,they will stick in a good movement ,hike the price 4-8 x and make it an LE. (thats all watch makers) The only exception I have ever seen is the seiko skx 007,maybe one hand didn’t know the other hand was making a simple ,in it’s way elegant watch by accident in those days ?

  • Ilya Solodky

    Such a mistake with the hands is simply unacceptable from real watch vendor.

    • Bilal Khan

      Timex just let me know that the production model addresses the hand issue. I added an updated rendering near the top of the article 🙂

  • Ugo

    was this the “look-at-how-many-mistake-can-we-stuff-in-270-dollars” edition?
    com’on Timex…

  • David Stettenbauer

    For what it represents ,at its price point , it has some issues but a step in the right direction. Considering this hideous watches Citizen puts out for far more.

  • Esteban

    Remove the dumb cyclops.
    Remove the silly faux-lume.
    Remove the moronic allied forces or whatever.
    Add a 12 o’clock lume pip.
    Add a blue and a black dial.
    Why two lume indicators per hour? Ridiculous.
    Then >> winner.

    • Mikita

      Throw Timex and buy SKX007 haha

  • Can’t believe no one mentioned the lack of a screw down crown. That’s the deal killer for me.
    Too many watches of mine in this price range without screw crown have failed water resistance after just a few years.
    Screw down crown maybe isn’t necessary for WR, but it makes it last longer in my experience.
    My skx007 cost me $250 in 1996 and is still fully WR for my needs (swimming and snorkeling.)
    I’ve had several dive-style watches without this feature in this price range leak after a few years of use: Casio, Seiko 5, Timex, Citizen to name a few.
    Dunno why nobody can make something comparable in form function and quality, to the skx007/9 at this price point.

  • Rupert Muller

    OK, let’s quickly sum up the comments section. Someone wants:
    – ETA movement
    – sapphire glass
    – longer hour hand (multiple mentions)
    – longer minute hand
    – ceramic bezel
    – steel case back
    – better movement finishing
    – screw down crown
    – 12 o’clock lume pip
    – hacking movement

    Needless to say that this would not be a 259$ watch.
    Since the wish list above is very diverse, I think TIMEX did a great job with this watch. There is always something and I don’t understand how someone can think that those improvements come for free. There is a reason why watches featuring all the above points are more expensive…
    On the other hand (pun intended), the hour hand is a real disaster.

    • Mikita

      You can get something close to the specs (28800 bph movt, domed sapphire, full lume + pip, ss case back, hacking, etc) if you go microbrand:

      But agree, when talking about macro brands, most of them will have some compromises. Seiko – hardlex crystal, painted bezel, Orient Ray USA – painted bezel, Swiss like Certina are kinda more expensive.

    • Colorblind

      If Rolex made the same watch and put a price tag of 2000$ on it, not one would complain!
      Up until the quartz crisis, Timex was one of the largest manufacturer of time pieces… I am pretty sure they have put some thought into this watch.

  • Jon Heinz

    Nothing against green dials in general, except my own personal preference. If this one here were the same except for a matte black dial, I would be typing this just having ordered one. This would be a great daily knockaround, like I don’t have enough dailies but it’s good to have a few to choose from. If they do produce a black dial version in the future, it’s a no-brainer for me at this price just to have it around.

  • Bilal Khan

    Yes, Timex agreed and fixed for final production model. Check out rendering near top of the article that shows final product

    • José Mário

      Excellent, that’s great from timex. Thank you for your update as well

  • Bilal Khan

    Issue addressed. You can see the rendering that reflects the final production model near the top of the article

  • gman cubsfan

    Anyone know which Miyota movement? How many beats/sec? How many clicks for one bezel rotation, 60, 120?

    • What fresh hell is this?

      Unfortunately it’s an 8215, 3Hz, non-hacking, stuttering seconds hand and everything. At least this is cheap…

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