Meet Our M79 Automatic

Nearly a year after we first reintroduced the Q Timex collection with our Q Timex 1979 Reissue, we present the Timex M79 Automatic. This latest watch is something entirely new, even though it may look familiar; where the “Q” in Q Timex indicated a quartz-powered watch, this “M” labeling signifies the mechanical movement at the heart of the M79.

This watch holds the same shape that defined our earlier Q Timex watch, with hidden lugs and a rotating bezel. This time, however, that bezel is of the ratcheting unidirectional variety, and since there’s no battery involved, there’s no functional battery hatch in the case back. When you flip this new watch over, you’ll see instead an exhibition case back that displays the self-winding movement within, a stunning array of levers, gears, springs and jeweled pivot points, all working together to track the passage of time.

By combining key design elements of our much-loved Q Timex 1979 Reissue with a workhorse automatic movement, we’re delivering something that squarely addresses the renaissance sweeping the watch industry today: a return to automatic and mechanical watchmaking, and a real appreciation for timepieces with presence, soul and character.

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In The Press: A Hodinkee Writer Revisits His First Watch

This nostalgic editorial looks back at an event that many of us probably remember as well — a kid’s first watch. In the case of James Stacey, a senior writer for Hodinkee, it was our Timex Ironman (a model from the beginning of the INDIGLO® era) that first sparked his love for the world of watches and led him to a career in the industry.

Read an excerpt below or get the full story here, and view a fun TV advertisement from the era detailing the launch of INDIGLO® technology.

“If you can, think back to 1994. Given the path that my life has taken, it was an important year in the life of a young boy obsessed with a great many things, including the underwater world, cameras, Playmobile, LEGO, and just about anything that glowed in the dark. 1994 was also the year I asked for my first watch.

Early in the year, I was confronted with a dilemma of great magnitude – how to spend the birthday money I received from my grandmother. For a soon-to-be eight-year-old, there is no power more nectarine in its sweetness than one’s birthday cash. Mine came in two parts. I wanted to see the 1994, large-dog comedy sequel Beethoven’s 2nd, and I wanted a Timex Ironman with the then still-new-to-the-market tech called Indiglo.

So, sometime in March of 1994, my parents and I stopped by The Bay (a Canadian department store) en route to the movie theater. Armed with a king’s ransom of gift money from my Grandma (no more than $50, which made me a one-percenter in the world of Canadian 8-year-olds), I bought my first watch. It was, and remains, a black-on-grey example of a very early Indiglo-equipped Timex Ironman Triathlon, fitted to a black resin strap. While Timex undoubtedly designed it for athletes in training, I could not so much as hope to conceal how happy I was with this little watch, and its cutting-edge electroluminescent backlight. I recall watching a VHS copy of Beethoven’s 2nd sometime later, and being surprised by just how much of the film I had missed as I endlessly engaged that smooth blue-green backlight in the dark theatre.”



The Timex Guide to Military Watches

We can thank the US Military for helping to develop a lot of things we use today — the GPS system, aviator sunglasses, duct tape, cargo pants, even microwaves.

And… the wristwatch?

US troops did, in fact, help popularize the wristwatch in the early part of the 20th century. It really got rolling during WWI, when trench warfare tactics and modern weaponry changed the face of battle. Soldiers needed to constantly be aware of the time for missions and maneuvers, but couldn’t put everything on pause and divert their attention to pulling out a pocket watch, flipping up the cover, then stowing it again during a seige. If you’re fighting in the trenches and trying to stay alive, you’re probably also trying to rid yourself of fiddly things as much as possible.

Some of these soldiers in Europe looked for help from a metalsmith to attach strap lugs to their pocket watches. Others modified the old watches themselves, so that they could be strapped to a wrist.

This obviously kept the watch far more accessible than if it had been stowed in a pocket or bag, and allowed a solider to quickly glance down to check elapsed time or running time during crucial moments (or maybe just count down the hours until he could expect a hot meal and a good night’s sleep). When these soldiers came home, they found that they preferred the wrist watch to a pocket watch, and set a trend others followed.

Many well-known watch companies have produced, and still produce, military-grade watches: Omega, Panerai, Rolex, CWC, Tudor, IWC, Casio and even Seiko. Other brands have occasionally just gone in for the aesthetic, like Audemars Piguet with their Royal Oak 14790ST (love it or hate it, at least it’s interesting to look at!). Some are simple field watches, but dive watches, chronographs and oversized pilot’s watches all have their roots in the timepieces that were developed to meet the needs of various militaries.

Pictured (and listed) below are some of our own military-inspired watches that we think you’ll like. Shop the whole category here; otherwise, scroll down to see our picks.

Pilots have always needed to keep close track of the time, and before digital controls and autopilot, you’d be relying on your watch for navigation and maneuvering as you flew above the battle zone. Pilot’s watches are usually on the large side by today’s standards — 42 to 48mm — with dials that can be read easily at a glance, even when the cockpit is vibrating or shaking. Some pilots also still wear wristwatch chronographs as failsafes, in case the cockpit instruments are damaged during flight. Also of note: pilot’s watches were originally designed with oversized crowns so their mechanical movements could be wound while wearing gloves. Since this is rarely a concern nowadays, the big-crown feature is much less common, but brands like IWC, Laco and Zenith still make modern big-crown pilot’s watches powered by mechanical movements.

MK1 40mm Chronograph

Waterbury Traditional 42mm 

Waterbury Traditional 42mm Chronograph

Among the simpler military-inspired designs, the humble field watch is a general-purpose timepiece for all conditions. These are typically 40mm or smaller, relatively lightweight, and are free of extra features or complications like a chronograph or day/date window to keep things as stripped-down as possible. However, some feature rotating bezels to help with navigation like our Navi Land watch.

Historical fact: Timex produced a watch for a contract bid with the US Marine Corps in the early 1980s. Though the contract was never fully put into action — the military ultimately went with a different watch supplier — that project developed into the 36mm resin MK1 we have today, which is almost exactly the same as that original prototype.

MK1 36mm Resin Field Watch

Scout 40 Field Watch

Navi Land 38mm

For special-operations troops and certain divisions of various naval armies, a watch that’s robust and highly water-resistant has always been a must. While a true dive watch meets very exacting international standards for water resistance, dial legibility and other factors, most needs can be met with a 100m/10atm water resistance rating, a unidirectional rotating bezel and a high-contrast dial with glowing hour markers.

Allied Coastline 43mm

Navi XL Automatic 41mm

Navi XL 41mm