One of the most popular new events to hit the automotive community in the last few years is Radwood, a global series of car and lifestyle shows that strives to capture the feeling and fun of the ‘80s and ‘90s. They’re usually energetic, colorful affairs with a wide array of rare metal from that 20-year stretch, but the era-specific flair is always a bit larger than life, distorted through a rose-tinted lens and obscure cultural one-upmanship. The end result is a kitschy theme-park ride through the last two decades of the 20th century with a distinctive style of its own, which brings us to the Timex T80 x PAC-MAN. As a collaboration designed to celebrate 40 years of both Timex digital watches and the arcade classic, perhaps no other timepiece has ever captured the Radwood spirit quite so perfectly. The Timex T80 x PAC-MAN combines tough digital functionality with retro charm, surprising finishing, and most importantly, fun.
The 34mm resin case of the Timex T80 x PAC-MAN takes on the familiar beveled square shape common among early digital watch case designs, carried over from the standard T80. This size is somewhat misleading, as the watch’s relatively long semi-integrated lugs and square shape help it to wear larger than the numbers suggest, but this still feels compact on the wrist. Available in gold-tone, silver-tone, and black-tone variants, what really sets this case apart from its rivals is finishing. There’s a slightly rounded edge to the semi-integrated lug shape that feels less harsh than some similar designs, and this roundness is accentuated by a dramatic all-over polish on the silver-tone and gold-tone variants. The black tone model adds a touch more depth, with matte surfaces on the top of the case and softly rounded octagonal bezel contrasted with mirror polished case sides. Around back, all three versions sport a playfully etched stainless steel caseback featuring a pixelated PAC-MAN chasing down ghosts.
The digital dial of the Timex T80 x PAC-MAN continues this recognizably retro path, flanking its simple LCD display with a wide internal bezel in black. It’s this internal bezel that sets the T80 x PAC-MAN apart from its stablemates, featuring PAC-MAN, Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde (the game’s four ghosts, for the uninitiated) chasing around a field of edible dots. Combined with the old-school digital display and classic square case, it’s a haymaker of ‘80s nostalgia on top of an already solid one-two punch.
The digital quartz movement inside the Timex T80 x PAC-MAN may not be the most complex of its kind, but it delivers on the most important fronts to most wearers. In addition to the signature Timex INDIGLO dial light, the T80 x PAC-MAN offers day, date, month, a 1/100 second chronograph, and a daily alarm function. The T80 x PAC-MAN’s party piece, however, is also available at the push of a button. The iconic PAC-MAN theme can play through the watch’s speaker on command, adding an extra layer of kitschy fun.
All three variants of the Timex T80 x PAC-MAN are paired with a matching multi-link bracelet in stainless steel. These very much look the part of a classic flat-link ‘80s digital bracelet, as well, with a mix of brushed and polished links that presents impressively well given the sub-$100 price point. These old-school folded link bracelets are topped off with an etched adjustable Milanese style clasp featuring PAC-MAN and a ghost.
With the T80 x PAC-MAN, Timex has taken the playful, computerized side of ‘80s nostalgia and amplified it. The overall design of the piece feels endemic to 1980 but bigger, louder, and more outwardly fun than the real thing. The Timex T80 x PAC-MAN is available now online and through authorized dealers, with all three versions priced at $79. For more information or to order now, please visit the brand’s website.