Timex invites buyers to ‘Roar across the finish line’ with its latest timepiece.
It’s been a hell of a year for Timex. Between the new Waterbury Ocean, a Nigel Cabourn collab, and fresh entries in the Expedition North lineup, the designers are more or less batting 1.000. Just a few months ago, I called the Pan-Am Chronograph perhaps “the finest deal in the whole of the company’s lineup.”
But with the release of the new Timex Q Chronograph ($199), it appears the company saved 2022’s best for last. Take a glimpse at the press line:
“Inspired by the original motoring watches that graced the tracks of Europe’s most iconic races, this timepiece celebrates the endurance of our legendary 1970s Q Timex. An ultra-precise chronograph movement and black tachymeter bezel recreate the finesse and function of a true racing watch, allowing you to determine elapsed time and average speed like the greatest daredevils in motorsports.”
Hey, for just under $200, all of that sounds pretty great. So when Timex reached out with the chance to test drive one of these chronographs, my review, as they say, was off to the races.
In short: In a year of top-flight releases, the Q Chronograph is the best of Timex’s new crop. From its domed crystal and excellent movement to its classically inspired design, the watch is wearable, functional, and more affordable than most similar retro pieces. Small touches like the battery hatch, date window, and exaggerated push-buttons help the Q stand on its own, even if the band is a little small.
Timex Q Chronograph Watch Review
- Case size: 40 mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Domed acrylic
- Water resistance: 50 m
- Movement: Epson quartz chronograph
- Lug width: 18 mm
Look, there’re no two ways about it — the Timex Q Chrono takes its inspiration from the Omega Speedmaster. That tachymeter bezel is a signature look, with the large, applied Q logo standing in for the Greek.
But with its date window, double-weighted chrono hand and colored sub-dials, Timex has done enough here to make the Q its own thing. The case shape helps set it apart, with its broad, flat angles spreading above and below the bezel. I also like the look of the chassis in profile, thanks to the signed crown and the downward sweep of the lugs.
What the heck does “Q” stand for, anyway? Simple — quartz. The entire Timex Q line is the brand’s love letter to the heyday of its first implementation, and the Chrono is no exception.
After more than a week of wrist time, I prefer the Q’s Epson movement to the Seiko mica quartz of the Pan-Am. Yes, I know Epson/Seiko are the same company, but with its easy pushers and smooth reset (and per Timex Creative Director Giorgio Galli), the Q’s internals represent a functional upgrade.
Thoughtful, Retro Touches
Having a timer on your wrist is more useful than you think. I used it to track everything from loads of laundry to gym sets and pizza. It helps that the Q’s exaggerated, retro pushers are delightful to use. Look at ’em — they’re the same shape as the warp pipes that Mario and Luigi travel through.
In a material sense, the acrylic crystal also represents something of a throwback. It’s going to be less scratch-resistant than mineral or sapphire, but it’s certainly period correct. And due to its softer nature, owners will be able to buff out the blemishes themselves, using a polishing compound like PolyWatch.
The applied indices are well-done, even if the lume is a bit dull. And check out the hatch on the back of the case. That’s a pretty neat detail, allowing you to swap out the battery with ease.
My biggest complaint with the Q lies in its strap. Well, complaints, actually, since the problem is twofold. As comfortable as the leather is, I found its holes to be rather widely spaced. This means that, for my 7-ish-inch wrist, the fit always seemed either a bit tight or far too loose. And when I considered moving it to a NATO, I discovered that the lugs are only 18 mm.
Now, the included leather flares out from the spring bars, making the band look and wear like a larger strap. But if you downgrade to something that’s a straight 18 mm, the size mismatch will show. Is this a huge problem? No, since the stock strap is still reasonably comfy. But it does limit the versatility and fun of swapping in different materials or colors.
At just under $200 (or $219 on the bracelet), the Timex Q Chronograph is an all-around excellent watch. It was equally at home on the bicycle, in the woods, and in the kitchen, and even dressed up nicely when it was time to go out for dinner.
Sure, it takes several design ideas from the Speedmaster, but who cares? If it’s an imitation, I’ll count it as the highest form of flattery.
Personally, I think the Q Chrono does enough to carve out a unique identity. The design riffs, excellent movement, and convenient hatch for do-it-yourself battery changes take something that could have been derivative and lift it into something transformative. Long live Q and quartz — this Timex stands on its own.