May 29, 2021
by Matt Reudink
Timex has been on an absolute tear since releasing the über-popular Q Timex Reissue in 2019. And really, it’s no surprise that these reissues have been so incredibly popular, considering that Timex is a cultural touchstone that has adorned the wrists of millions for generation after generation. I would guess that there are very few readers who haven’t had a Timex on their wrist at one time or another, whether in the guise of an Indiglo, Ironman, Weekender, or a classic dress watch from decades past. Once Timex started producing the Q reissues, those dusty corners of our hippocampus started firing up with memories of childhood flooding in and sending our nostalgia into overdrive. If the original Q reissue didn’t appeal to you and you’re looking for something a bit more classic and versatile, the Q Timex 1978 Reissue Day-Date may be just the ticket.
In the case of the latest Timex reissue, the 1978 Day-Date, this quartz sports watch retails for a wallet-friendly $169. To be fair, at $169 there are plenty of quartz watches on the market, but what sets the Timex apart is the brand’s long and rich history, excellent quality for the price, and sumptuously nostalgic aesthetic. Unlike so many other vintage reissues on the market, this watch truly looks like one you would have found behind the counter at your local general store in 1978.
The 1978 Day-Date measures in at a period-appropriate 37 mm in diameter with a classic 1970s cushion case that features a polished surface and beveling along the edges. There’s no mistaking the vintage vibe. Atop the case sits a highly domed acrylic crystal that keeps the warm vintage charm going. The size and shape of the watch are going to work for a huge range of wrist sizes and are certainly appropriate for any gender.
While the case and crystal speak to the 1970s, the dial absolutely shouts it. The silver dial has vertical striations that evoke the look of linen dial watches popular during the era. The texture allows the dial to be dynamic in the light and provides plenty of visual interest. The downside to the dial, however, is that the polished silver markers and hands can get lost in some light, making it difficult to read the time.
The Q Timex 1978 Reissue Day-Date, as the name suggests, also features day and date functionality. On a mechanical watch, many people dislike this feature because of the added time it takes to set the day and date after the watch has stopped. However, as Timex makes abundantly clear above 6 o’clock on the dial, this is a quartz watch, so that won’t be nearly as much of an issue. That said, I’m sure some people would love to see just a time-only version, and it’s hard to disagree.
Speaking of the quartz movement, the other thing Timex does here, in keeping with the brand’s philosophy of easy wearing and servicing, is to include a battery hatch that can be popped opened with a coin. Sure, it’s a little thing, but it means that many folks are much more likely to actually replace the battery rather than stuff the watch in a shoebox under the bed and forget about it for several years until the battery has corroded and ruined the watch…or so I hear…
Timex has equipped the 1978 Day-Date with a black leather strap, which is attractive and fits the style of the watch. But, given that the watch is $169, don’t expect it to feel like a supple bespoke leather strap. With its 20mm lug-width and neutral tones, this is a watch meant for trying on different straps. I could see it looking excellent dressed down on a NATO or looking sharp on a whiskey-brown minimal-stitch leather strap. Timex uses quick-release spring bars so that changing up the look should be simple and quick.
When the original release of the Q Timex occurred in 2019, I was not one of the many clamoring to get my hands on one, simply because the aesthetic didn’t call to me. But the 1978 does. I could see this as a great option for a grab-and-go piece that would work just as well in jeans and a T-shirt as it would under the cuff of a blazer. This is also the type of watch that I would gladly recommend to friends and family looking for an attractive, reliable, and well-made quartz watch that reminds them of the past. I can’t imagine Timex slowing down with these reissues anytime soon, so if the 1978 Day-Date isn’t quite your cup of tea, just wait a few months and keep your fingers crossed that one will come along that taps into your particular brand of nostalgia. The Q Timex Reissue 1978 Day-Date retails for $169, and more information can be found on the brand’s website.