One of the reasons I am such a big fan of Timex is that the brand offers a bit of something for everyone. The diversity of Timex’s catalog is astonishing and spans everything from plastic digital sports watches to classically styled analog models that are powered by mechanical movements. However, while Timex produces watches for the everyday person, with the vast majority of its customers being non-enthusiasts, the brand also very much caters to the collector and enthusiast crowd, with a wide assortment of different models that are right in line with current watch trends. A case in point is the new Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic, which is exactly the kind of watch that is being created by some of the most enthusiast-driven microbrands within the industry, despite being produced by the number one bestselling watch company in the United States.
Titanium seems to be the current popular metal within the watch industry, and the new Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic is right on-trend in that regard, sporting a bead-blasted titanium case that measures 41mm in diameter by 12.5mm-thick. The watch features an anti-reflective sapphire crystal above the dial, while a signed screw-down winding crown with a green mountain emblem works together with a screw-on exhibition-style caseback to provide users with an ample 200 meters of water resistance. In addition to being marketed as shock resistant, the Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic also features quick-release springbars for its 20mm Ecco DriTan leather strap, which is produced using an eco-friendly water-saving technology and features a matching titanium pin buckle. Just looking at the external specs, all of these decisions are very much in line with what many enthusiasts are looking for in a field watch these days, and this trend continues when looking at the inside of the watch.
The dial of the Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic is matte black with white Arabic numeral hour markers and a date window at the 3 o’clock location. The same mountain logo that appears on the crown also takes the place of the 12 o’clock marker, with the words “Timex” and “Automatic” appearing below it, while the word “Titanium” and the watch’s depth rating appear on the lower half of the dial. The time itself is indicated by a trio of centrally mounted hands that feature a tapered baton shape and are finished white with black centers to give them a slight floating effect. Just as you would expect from a proper field watch, the hands and markers are finished with luminous material, while the words “Shock Resistant” appear in small text at the bottom of the dial between the 6 o’clock hour marker and the outer minute track. While a no-date dial might have been the true enthusiast move here, it’s important to remember that Timex is first and foremost a brand with mass-market appeal, and the vast majority of buyers outside of deep enthusiast circles do want date displays on their watches.
Powering the Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic is what appears to be a Miyota 8xxx series automatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 21,600vph while offering users a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. Although the Cal. 8xxxx series is Miyota’s entry-level range of movements, it still offers the conveniences of both hacking and hand-winding, along with a quickset function for the date display. While it is largely undecorated and isn’t going to be winning any awards for its chronometry precision or intricate finishing, the Miyota 8xxx series is, first and foremost, known for its reliability, and a variation of this core movement can be found inside countless other timepieces from a wide variety of different brands throughout the industry. As a rugged field watch priced on the affordable end of the spectrum, this movement makes perfect sense, and it can easily be repaired or even outright replaced, if needed, by virtually any watch repair shop in the world.
The new Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic appears to largely be the same watch as the limited-edition collaboration piece that was produced with The James Brand and debuted earlier this year, and in my personal opinion, that is a good thing. While the collaboration piece was fitted with a white dial and was limited to just 1,000 pieces, this new release with a black dial is a standard production model that will be joining the catalog and will be available to anyone who wishes to purchase one. With an official retail price of $349 USD, the Timex Expedition North Titanium Automatic represents a step up from the brand’s usual offerings, considering that Timex also frequently sells watches for well under the $100 price point. That said, it’s undeniable that the new model offers quite a bit of value for the money, considering that you are getting a shock-resistant automatic watch with a titanium case, sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, and 200 meters of water resistance, all from one of the most famous watch companies in America. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.