Fashion designer Todd Snyder and watch company Timex continue their ongoing relationship with what I believe is the duo's best product to date. The new Timex + Todd Snyder MS1 Maritime Sport (MS-1) limited edition watch comes in two versions, either with a black or silver dial. Timex typically walks Todd Snyder through the brand's rich archive of designs and Todd Snyder gets to choose something he likes as the basis of a novel timepiece. The result has been a series of traditionally pragmatic, albeit colorful and fun watches at very affordable prices (all under $200). In this case, however, Timex decided they wanted to produce something new with the MS1 Maritime Sport for Todd Snyder. The designs are still very much vintage sport watch in theme, but the MS1 Maritime Sport (according to Timex) is the most contemporary result of the collaboration so far.
Inspired by Todd Snyder but designed by Timex is the right way to position these watches. With the MS1 Maritime Sport, Timex took the look of a classic diver's watch and tried to give it a hip, vintage-style dial. The quality is all in the careful choice of colors, finishing, and proportions. What I especially like is that the watches (with big nods to popular Bauhaus watch design) aren't trying to be too different, but also don't immediately look like anything else mainstream on the watch market. In a lot of ways, that is exactly what a good fashion watch should be. Todd Snyder arguably outdoes his rivals who prefer personally branded watches because he not only gets to have his name involved with watch design, but also gets a traditional watch company name on the dial.
The MS1 Maritime Sport watches are 41mm wide in steel. The black dial is matched to a black-colored steel case, while the silver-colored dial has a natural steel case. Both have rotating dive bezels. The watches are sporty but aren't necessarily dive-ready with just 30m of water resistance. They do however have Timex's useful INDIGLO dial backlight illumination system (activated by pressing in the crown). Inside the MS1 Maritime Sport watches are Timex quartz movements with the time, day of the week, and date.
I think Timex did a really nice job on the dials, which help give the vintage sport watch flair a bit of a modern twist – but one that only very seasoned watch collectors will notice. In other words, the relatively unsophisticated watch buyer demographic for these roughly $150 watches will not have any idea that effort was put into these watch designs – and that's a bit of a shame. Having said that, I do think owners of these watches will enjoy them a lot more and for a lot longer than other similarly-priced fashion watches that are not as thoughtful in their design.
Timex includes a 20mm wide nylon NATO-style strap with the MS1 Maritime Sport watches (both case styles have the same strap). It is one of those two-tone black and gray straps with vertical stripes. Given that we are on the topic of fashion and watches, I'm not entirely sure how much longer these colorful striped straps will be "in." I'm not trying to talk poorly about them, but there are some really ugly color combinations out there. I'm just saying that while I agree NATO straps can be cool, I'm not confident these striped versions have more long-term staying power than other colorful plastic wearables from the 1970s.
Thank you to Timex and Todd Snyder for showing us A) that inexpensive fashion watches do not need to instantly repel watch collectors in terms of aesthetics, and B) that it doesn't need to cost a fortune to have a good-looking fashion watch. Don't forget that while the MS1 Maritime Sport watches are produced in collaboration with Todd Snyder, they didn't feel the need to ruin the timepiece faces by indicating as such on the dial. Price for the black as well as silver version of the limited edition (unclear as to how many) Timex + Todd Snyder MS1 Maritime Sport watch is $158 USD. toddsnyder.com