October 1, 2018
by Ariel Adams
The Timex Marlin Automatic watch collection debuts (beginning with the references TW2T22770, TW2T22800, TW2T23000, and TW2T23200) right here on aBlogtoWatch. As the next step in Timex’s revival of its historic Marlin timepiece family, the Marlin Automatic seeks to be a leader in the entry-level mechanical dress watch segment, and Timex clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that the final result has a high level of refinement. Earlier in 2018 we reviewed the first revived Timex Marlin here, which was a “truer to the original” homage of the vintage models with a 34mm wide case and manually-wound mechanical movement. Watch lovers celebrated Timex’s release of a competent and extremely affordable mechanical watch priced at around $200. The Timex Marlin Automatic seeks to satisfy everyone who liked the theme of the Timex Marlin, but found the case too small and who wanted an automatic movement. For about $50 more than the smaller Marlin, the new Timex Marlin Automatic continues to offer a versatile dress-style watch look, in a well-made package, for a price many watch enthusiasts can easily stomach.
While the dial design is different, with more neutral baton-style hour markers and matching hands, the key selling points of the Timex Marlin Automatic are its 40mm wide case size and use of a Japanese automatic mechanical movement. Though once you have the watch in your hand you appreciate how well all the pieces go together. Again, the smaller Timex Marlin is just 34mm wide (not typically considered large enough for male tastes today) and uses a Chinese-made manually-wound movement. The comfortable polished steel case on the Marlin Automatic is more elegantly shaped than I think one might immediately assume for a watch like this. The domed “box-style” mineral crystal gives the dial an impressive visual effect and the dial itself is gently domed, which helps add a welcome sense of depth. Note that the Marlin Automatic case is both different from the 34mm Marlin case in both design and size, as well as a major upgrade in my opinion. I really like the smooth integration between the curved mineral crystal glass and the case itself, as well the mix between hard lines and curved surfaces. The case again is 40mm wide, and about 11mm thick with 30m of water resistance. It also has a lug-to-lug distance of about 48mm, making for a very wearable platform.
Timex also decided to fit the rear of the case with a display back, offering a view of the movement. It is basic for sure, but at this price there aren’t too many watches with windows such as this with a look into to the movement (and it is uncommon for there to be the name of the watch model printed on the caseback crystal – those little touches are nice). Inside the watch is a Japanese Miyota caliber 8215 automatic movement that operates at 21,600 bph (3Hz) with a power reserve of 40 hours. Timex implemented the movement with the date, but I like that the date didn’t remove the hour marker at 3 o’clock and that the date window is only as large as it needs to be. To increase practicality even more, the hour and minute hands have been painted with thin strips of luminant paint. The dial’s simplicity and versatility are what I like the most from the face, and if I had to have a complaint, it would be that I would have liked the hands to all be a bit longer. With that said, the overall proportions on the dial such as the size of the text and the way it is designed to play with the light are excellent at this price range.
Attached to the case is a 20mm wide leather strap that comes in one of four shades depending on the dial and case color. The strap is very nicely made and feels both soft and supple on the wrist. Compared to the straps you’d get on similarly-priced Japanese dress watches, Timex has them beat in the leather department. As mentioned above, the Marlin Automatic is debuting in four styles, which includes natural and gold-toned steel cases, and a silver, black, dark gray, and maroon red dial. Hand set colors are also different and designed to go with the rest of the watch. Timex’s Milan-based design team did a great job making sure that the colors and finishes were just right – a service that watches at this price level usually don’t receive.
The previous champion at this price range was the Orient Bambino, and the Timex Marlin Automatic offers a real alternative that helps fill this interesting price segment of enthusiast-grade dress watches. These timepieces are great as a basic or budget dress watch for those who need something suitable but don’t find themselves in a suit all the time. I can easily see someone opting for a Marlin Automatic to supplement a collection of mostly dress watches. The collection is also a great low-budget way to experience the look and feel of a simple, vintage-style mechanical timepiece for those who can’t or don’t want to invest a lot more. The Marlin Automatic is also a handsome watch – offering good textures and colors that prevent the overall concept from being boring or passe. The initial Timex Marlin Automatic watches will be the reference TW2T22700 with the brown strap and silver dial, the TW2T22800 with a yellow gold-toned case, black strap and matching dial, the TW2T23000 with a dark brown strap, and deep gray dial, and the TW2T23200 with the matching maroon dial and strap. Price for the Timex Marlin Automatic watch is $249 USD. Learn more or order at Timex.com.