Just a few years ago, the idea of getting an automatic Timex meant you were buying something rather vintage. Today, the major U.S .company has added a slew of enthusiast-style watches for more serious consumers who are interested in more than just a practical way to tell the time. Timex’s automatic watches come in a few variants nowadays but are quickly getting more sophisticated in terms of both design and appeal. For under $300, it is really hard to beat what Timex is offering if you are seeking a classy mechanical watch these day. Let’s take a look at one of the new Timex automatic models within the larger Waterbury Automatic collection: the white-dialed version of the Waterbury Classic Automatic 40mm as the reference TW2T69900 (aka TW2T6900ZV).
Waterbury is the name of the original city in Connecticut where Timex was based. It has since moved the headquarters a few miles away, but the “Waterbury” spirit in the brand runs deep and is a name the brand seems to apply to its more “yesterday-looking” products. The Waterbury Classic Automatic is deceptively simple but with a dial that has lovely proportions and legibility. It reads like a very comfortable wall clock — and that is a good thing. The ring of Arabic hour numerals is attractive, paired with properly sized hour, minute, and seconds hands. A date window near 3 o’clock is set in a bit, and doesn’t require the removal of the 3 o’clock hour marker. The stepped date window is a subtle but refined touch that upgrades the overall look of the timepiece.
The steel case is pretty nicely made for the price, with polished and brushed surfaces. It is 40mm-wide with 50 meters of water resistance. One of my primary personal complaints about the Waterbury Classic Automatic is the relative thickness of the case, which is 12mm. That is what most diver’s style watches are. So, why is this casual daily wear watch so thick? The answer likely has to do with the thickness of the Japanese Miyota automatic movement. These have never been known to be particularly thin, save for some more expensive variants. Adjacent to the Waterbury Classic is the Waterbury Traditional (yes, the names are easily confused) which is a bit more sporty in style. It is also 12mm-thick but with a larger 42mm-wide case that I think will feel a bit more proportionate.
Timex does its best to visually reduce the case thickness with a indented caseback and other minor case design elements, such as how the lugs are designed and the horizontal brushing on the side of the case, which exists between two polished segments. Still, the case is a bit on the thick side — though I don’t think most will complain. Over the dial is a flat mineral crystal, and attached to the case is a rather decent black leather strap with a light crocodile skin texture to it. The crown has the old “TX” logo which Timex used when it had its TX brand. Now the logo seems to be coming back for various Timex watches.
Timex designed the rear of the case to have an exhibition caseback with a view to the movement. As a seasoned watch-lover, one might not find too much to be excited about, but for someone new to mechanical watches or on a budget, the view is thrilling enough. The movement operates at 3Hz with about two days of power reserve.
Timex produces a few versions of the Waterbury Classic Automatic, including both this off-white dial and one in black. There are a few case and strap/bracelet option available, including a mesh metal Milanese-style bracelet (which costs just $10 more than the leather strap). A good value in both bang for your buck and versatility, the Timex Waterbury Classic Automatic watch has a retail price of $249 USD on the strap and $259 USD on a metal bracelet. See more at the Timex website here.