Zero-water leather, reduced battery-generated waste, post-consumer plastics, and more combine in a more green-minded timepiece from Timex. But does it perform? We put it to the test.
In life and gear, I’m skeptical by nature. While many companies throw around buzzwords like “eco-friendly” and “rugged design,” their products often don’t stand close inspection.
So when Timex, a name with which I’ve had mixed experiences, announced its new Expedition North lineup with promises of “premium materials” and “sustainable manufacturing,” I was cagey, if intrigued.
Timex, however, showed zero shyness with this new effort.
“Directly inspired by military-issued designs from decades past, our Field Post 38 Mechanical watch does more than look the part,” the brand proclaimed.
Ah, but does it? After a few rough experiences several years ago with previous Expedition models, I was interested to see just what had changed. And to its credit, Timex immediately offered up the Field Post, a $229 mechanical entry into the Expedition North line.
Here’s how it fared after several weeks of testing.
Timex Field Post Mechanical Watch Review
Two words sum up the Field Post’s time on my wrist: comfort and legibility. Its 38mm case sits low and close at just 8.5 mm in height, with no hot spots on its brushed stainless steel. Thanks to its screw-down back and crown, the case achieves a respectable 100m water resistance.
There’s also the 20mm Ecco DriTan leather strap, which, as the name may indicate, was crafted with “eco-friendly methods.”
Above these sits an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, representing a significant step up from the acrylic and mineral dials of years past.
This is where the legibility comes in. The clean, simple design of the Field Post allows for easy reading at all angles, thanks to the well-polished indices and hands.
Both the hour and minute hands feature a luminous compound that, while not as bright as Super-LumiNova, shines all through the night. There are even tiny dots applied above the hour markers, positioned within the triangles on the raised outer ring.
But as with any mechanical watch, the big question is accuracy. In this case, I’m happy to report that the Field Post (and its 23-jewel Sea-Gull TY6DSK-1 movement) averaged just plus-6 seconds per day.
For a tool in this price range, that’s damned good, especially given its ability to hack. Just pull out the crown, count away a few seconds, and screw it back into place.
Online specs list the Sea-Gull’s power reserve at 34 hours, which seems about right. This, however, leads to the part where I start airing my complaints.
My biggest issue with the Field Post is also one of the most basic: winding. This is a hand-powered movement, meaning you’ll need to spin the crown every so often to keep the hands ticking. But while most mechanicals I’ve handled can take around 30 spins to top off the spring, this Sea-Gull needs only about 20.
This isn’t a big deal — until you realize that you can’t complete the process of screwing down the crown if the spring is already at max. So you’ll need to wait a few hours to return to your full 100m water rating. I’d chalk this up to user error, though it did happen to me once or twice.
There’s also the strap. While it’s very comfortable, mine did come with a scuff below the 6 o’clock mark. And I’ve started to notice a bit of wear from the buckle. Here, take a look:
Timex does offer a one-year warranty, so you should be covered for a while. And with the quick-swap spring bars, subbing in a NATO should be a cinch (provided you have an extra set of standard bars).
Overall, I feel that the positives of the Field Post greatly outweigh its issues. Even at arguably its most basic trim, this watch is a solid performer.
Other Available Models: Mechanical vs. Solar
If the mechanical quirks sound like too much of a hassle, fear not! Timex also offers the Field Post in a pair of solar-powered configurations. There’s an upscaled 41mm model, complete with a date window at the 3 o’clock position, as well as a smaller 36mm version with a dial similar to the mechanical.
Both of these offer a 4-month power reserve on top of the inborn accuracy of quartz. Most of the exterior features are the same — lumed hands and indices, stainless steel cases, and sapphire crystals.
Even your 100m water resistance is the same, though these models do come with additional strap and dial color options. Best of all, they each go for $159, significantly less than the mechanical.
There’s also a Tide-Temp-Compass model, though this feels like a completely separate beast.
Timex Field Post Mechanical Watch: Overall Impressions
This watch surprised me on multiple fronts. After several disappointing experiences with Timex in the past, I feel like the brand is finally onto something here. The Field Post is an attractive, well-made, and affordably priced watch with noble intentions.
While I may have encountered a few minor issues, the company’s use of eco-friendly processes and materials deserves some praise. (This is an outdoor-focused website, after all.)
If Timex has found a way to make a product that I can feel good about wearing and using in the wilderness, then that’s a win for me. So if you like the size and style of the new Expedition North models, don’t hesitate to pick one up. I think you’ll find it’s a win for you too.