Photos by Ripley Sellers and Ariel Adams

Despite catering to a widespread audience that extends far beyond enthusiast circles, Timex also seems to truly have its finger on the pulse of the watch industry. Along with all of the mainstream offerings that you frequently see at mall kiosks and department stores, Timex also produces other models that are clearly intended for collectors, and a perfect example of the latter variety is its recent collaboration with French creative Seconde/Seconde/ (aka Romaric André). Consisting of six models that are based upon the popular Q Timex and M79 Automatic series, the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches are each inspired by a different famous nickname from the world of horology, and they feature unique and playful seconds hands that allude to the famous monikers that inspire them.

No actual mention of the nicknames is made in the official literature about the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches, and while this more than likely has to do with the nightmare of licensing agreements that would need to be made in order to use the names of multiple different international brands and superheroes (both Marvel and DC Comics) in conjunction with watches that actually have nothing to do with them, it also helps to create the “If You Know, You Know” (IYKYK) concept of these collaboration models. That said, explicit mention of the nicknames is hardly needed, and even novice collectors will likely be able to figure out what famous watch nicknames these Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ models are based upon.

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The six watches that make up the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” collection are titled Episode 1 through Episode 6, and they were released in pairs between October and November 2023, with the three drops consisting of 500 examples for each model. The trio of launches all featured one Q Timex and one M79 Automatic from the series, and all of the watches quickly sold out upon their launch. While you certainly won’t find any explicit mention of it, all of the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches are based upon the nicknames of famous Rolex sports models (Pepsi, Batman, Hulk, Coke, Root Beer, and Polar), although it should be noted that all of these nicknames are entirely unofficial, even within their original Rolex-based context.

While the colorways of the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches are already more than suggestive of the Rolex nicknames that serve as their inspiration, their unusual and slightly irreverent seconds hands further clear up any possible uncertainty that might still exist, as each one alludes to the theme of the specific nickname that serves as its inspiration. The “Pepsi” model (Episode 1) has a drinking straw as its seconds hand; the “Batman” version (Episode 2) has a comic book-style slap symbol; the “Hulk” (Episode 3) has a green fist; the “Coke” (Episode 4) features a cheeseburger; the “Root Beer” (Episode 5) has a mug; and the “Polar” (Episode 6) has a little cartoon penguin that rotates at the center of its display.

As for the watches themselves, aside from their unusual nickname-themed seconds hands and a few additional engravings on their casebacks, the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” models are otherwise largely identical to their standard-production siblings from the Q Timex and M79 collections. With that in mind, some of the nickname-themed colorways aren’t found among the core-collection offerings and have been slightly updated to more closely reflect the colors of the Rolex models that serve as their inspiration. For example, while Timex offers a model that is more-or-less identical to the red and black “Coke” version used for Episode 4 (aside from the cheeseburger seconds hand), the normal red and blue version of the Q Timex is fitted with a matching blue dial, rather than a black dial like what can be found on the Episode 1 “Pepsi” model from the collection.

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One other key difference between the limited-edition Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches and their standard-production counterparts relates to the dials that are fitted to the trio of Q Timex models from the collection. While the dials used for the normal Q Timex watches have day and date displays at 3 o’clock, the limited-edition Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” models opt for a time-only format and replace the dual-apertures in the dial with an additional printed luminous hour marker. Meanwhile, the M79-based models from the collaboration have dials that are structurally identical to what can be found on their standard-production counterparts, and they all feature applied luminous hour markers with dual calendar displays at the 3 o’clock location.

Aside from subtle variations to their colorways and dial layouts, it is really only the playful cartoon-style seconds hands that separate these limited-edition Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” models from their standard-production counterparts. However, this only further leans into the “IYKYK” concept of the collaboration, as similarly small details on Rolex watches can frequently be worth small fortunes to collectors. Additionally, it’s worth noting that while the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ models embrace the same colorways as the famous Rolex models whose nicknames serve as their inspiration, they aren’t actually homages of these watches, as the cases and bracelets are based upon vintage Timex designs. That said, there is undeniably a bit of aesthetic overlap when it comes to their split-color bezels and the general style of their dials, although a similar statement applies to countless other watches throughout the industry.

As for their materials and overall construction, all of the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” models are identical to the standard-production watches from the Q Timex and M79 series, which means that they feature stainless steel cases, domed acrylic crystals, push/pull-style crowns, and 50 meters of water resistance. The three Q Timex versions measure 38mm in diameter by 11.5mm thick, and they are fitted with bidirectional 12-hour bezels, along with solid casebacks that have small battery doors, which can be opened with the edge of a coin. Meanwhile, the trio of M79-based models is larger at 41mm in diameter by 14.5mm thick, and they receive unidirectional 60-minute bezels, along with display-style casebacks to showcase the mechanics of their self-winding movements.

Despite their different case sizes, all six of the models from the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” collection have 18mm lugs that are shrouded by the flat and angular edges of their cases. Additionally, all of the models are fitted with the same style of folded stainless steel bracelet that quickly flares out past the lugs to reach the edges of the case before tapering back down to 16mm on the lower side of the wrist. Similar to how sizing is achieved on budget-friendly mesh bracelets, this style of Timex bracelet doesn’t feature any removable links, and it instead has a clasp that can be moved along the folded steel structure of the bracelet and simply clamped down at the position of the owner’s choice. While it doesn’t exactly exude a sense of premium quality, the bracelet is objectively rather functional, and its folded steel structure further plays into the vintage-inspired style of the Q Timex and M79 watches.

All of the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” models are powered by Japanese movements, although (as usual) Timex doesn’t specify the exact calibers that it uses inside the watches. Both Seiko and Miyota designs have appeared inside various different versions of the Q Timex, although given that they are all simple three-handed quartz calibers from two of the world’s largest movement manufacturers, performance will be largely symmetrical among the different options. Meanwhile, a quick look through the display caseback of the Timex M79 Automatic series will confirm that it is powered by the familiar Miyota 8205, which runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. Realistically speaking, none of the movements inside the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches are all that noteworthy, although they do promise to be reliable and easy to maintain throughout long-term ownership.

I personally love the fun and slightly irreverent concept of the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” series, as only watch enthusiasts are going to understand that their unusual seconds hands are actually references to famous Rolex nicknames. Both Rolex and Timex are two of the world’s most famous watch brands, yet they sit at polar opposite sides of the price spectrum, and only true watch nerds are going to see a drinking straw on a Timex with a red and blue bezel and know that it is an inside baseball reference to the famous Rolex “Pepsi” GMT-Master. Additionally, the “IYKYK” concept of these watches works on two levels: not only is it exclusively enthusiasts who are going to understand the subtle Rolex association, but it also serves as a playful jab at the Rolex collecting world as a whole, since it is often the smallest of details that account for enormous differences in resale value and collectibility.

The three quartz-powered models from the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” collection that are based upon the Q Timex (Episode 1, Episode 3, and Episode 5 — aka Pepsi, Hulk, and Root Beer) have an official retail price of $199 USD, while the M79 Automatic versions (Episode 2, Episode 4, and Episode 6 — aka Batman, Coke, and Polar) are slightly more expensive at $299 USD. At the time of writing, all 500 examples of each model are completely sold out, although that statement would have been true if we had published this article immediately upon their launch, as all of the watches proved to be incredibly popular. With that in mind, when I had the opportunity to ask one of Timex’s executives about the nature of the collaboration and its future plans, I was given this response, which can only be taken as a very positive sign for collectors: “Undoubtedly, this is just the first chapter of what we anticipate will be a long collaboration with him. While I can’t reveal specific details, I’m confident that in the near future, we will develop other fantastic watches with Seconde/Seconde/ for our consumers.” For more information on the Timex x Seconde/Seconde/ “IYKYK” watches, please visit the brand’s website

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