Italian designer Giorgio Galli has left an outsize mark on the watch industry in his relatively young partnership with Timex, revitalizing the classic affordable brand with more enthusiast-focused offerings and sleekly minimal design sensibilities. Galli’s initial collaboration with Timex in 2019 was an instant hit, and for the end of 2021 the brand returns to this concept in a more compact size. The new Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm showcases some of the brand’s most refined and intriguing design work, draped in a trio of richly nuanced colorways.
Perhaps the most intriguing element of the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm is its compact 38mm-wide case. Timex uses a unique injection-molded manufacturing process for this stainless steel case, allowing the Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm to take on a dramatic skeleton form without the complexity and expense of milling out a traditional case design. The case sides are deeply slotted, revealing a ridged cylindrical inner case below. Beyond adding a theatrical layered flair to the overall design, this structural touch also gives the case an opportunity to showcase a variety of finishes in initial images, from the polished and chamfered edges of the case side cutouts to the smooth brushing of the main case body and the matte ridged texture of the inner case assembly. Timex tempers these intricate details with a cleanly minimal case profile, with simple brushed tapering lugs and a narrow sloping smooth bezel. This initial sense of quality extends to the case materials themselves, as Timex equips this Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm with anti-reflective sapphire crystals for both front and rear. The inclusion of a sapphire display caseback is another high-quality addition at this price point, although the case’s middling 50-meter water resistance rating does make this achievement slightly less impressive.
Timex equips the Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm with a trio of sunburst dial options in deep, refined colors. The minimal overall layout remains the same for all three models, with slim beveled applied indices paired with a bold black minutes scale. The pointed baton handset is deceptively nuanced in images, with faceted polishing and a rounded split lume fill that introduces a touch of softness to a design that might otherwise feel harshly sterile. The brand also pays close attention to overall visual balance and weight distribution, counterweighting the small printed Timex emblem at 12 o’clock with a single synthetic ruby cabochon at 6 o’clock. This cabochon is the design’s other major visual flourish, reinforcing the sense of quality while also calling to mind the single red eye of the HAL-9000 supercomputer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This elegant single gem was actually suggested to designer Giorgio Galli by aBlogtoWach founder Ariel Adams, as a subtle visual reminder of the more refined mechanical movement within. From here, each of the three sunburst dial colorways gives the overall layout a unique character. The warm charcoal tones of the Iceland Stone Gray variant are undoubtedly the most straightforward and classical of the group while offering a touch more personality than a simple black dial. The desaturated navy of the Atlantic Blue makes it potentially the most reserved of the trio, with a subtle look that should suit any situation. By contrast, the soft forest green hues of the Inverness Green model offer a trendier, more eye-catching look, but remain handsomely subdued overall.
Inside the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm beats the Miyota 9039 automatic movement. Continuing the overall sense of refinement, Timex dresses up this familiar powerplant with a custom brushed gray skeleton rotor, along with faint striping across the movement bridges. In terms of performance, however, the 9039 remains unchanged, with a claimed -10/+30 seconds per day accuracy rating and a 42-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Timex finishes all three variants of the Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm with dial-matching minimalist rubber straps featuring the brand’s unique rivet keeper buckle system.
With a new smaller profile and refined touches throughout, the new Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm brings an impressively premium feel to the affordable brand’s lineup. The Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $450. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.