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Timex is a brand of watches that I associated with children and men. My first ever watch was a Timex, a simple, clear dial with easy to read numbers. Then there were the heavy, plain gent's watches. Not fancy, just utilitarian. A Timex watch wasn't the sort of thing I imagined owning in my 20s. However....
When I started flying light aircraft it soon became apparent that my fancy dress watch wasn't really going to be of much use. A small dial and no numbers, let alone second hands was not conducive to accurate timings and, when you're flying at over 100mph (relative to ground) that extra few seconds really make a difference! I tried just using a stopwatch but, although this was reasonably accurate (allowing for time spent doing other more important things in the cockpit) it was fiddly and I risked dropping the stopwatch and it falling out of reach. I needed a clear, accurate watch.
A scout around the high street jewellers and the likes of Argos threw up one obvious choice - Timex.
The Timex Expedition watch immediately caught my eye. The clear white face was large enough to allow the numbers to be displayed clearly but not so large as to look like a man's watch. Hands were clear and free of any fancy ends (which can lead to inaccurate readings if you're not careful) and, importantly, there was a clear red second hand which was of a good length. This was particularly important to me as timings when flying were accurate to a matter of seconds and so the ability to see, at quick glance, where the second had was was vital. In addition the fact that the hand was red, as opposed to the silver of the minute and hour hands meant that there was less risk of misreading (thereby negating possible human factor errors).
There is a date function on the watch but it does not detract from the clarity of the read.
The "gimmick" on the watch is an "Indiglo" function. This is, in essence, a back light function - simply press in the winding button and the watch will glow a wonderful green colour. The amount of light that this actually gives out is impressive and is particularly useful for reading the watch at night. The hands of the watch also feature luminous strips which will glow for around 30 minutes after lights out!
The watch is waterproof to 50m - hopefully not relevant to me when flying - this means that, not only could you go swimming with it, you don't have to worry about getting it wet when washing up, cleaning the car (or plane) and so on. Once the batteries need changing, however, unless you pay extra to have the watch re-waterproofed then the waterproofing will be lost when the case is opened.
Talking of batteries, battery life is very good. In 10 years I've had two sets of batteries. That's quite good in my book.
The strap is a bonded leather affair finished in matt brown. It wears incredibly well and, after over 10 years the strap is still going strong. The ladies strap is not particularly long, however, and those with larger wrists may well find that it's not long enough. I have small wrists and there's only one hole left before the strap runs out.
The case is a brushed silver metal, incredibly hard-wearing and resistant to knocks and bumps. The glass on the watch also seems to be very scratch resistant. I've put this watch through some trials and it still looks good as new.
The only downside of the watch that I can think of is the way that it winds. There isn't a two stage pin to allow you to change the date separately from the hour. As a result I find that I ignore the date function entirely as setting it is such a long winded process involving much winding and sore fingers!
I would heartily recommend this watch if you're looking for something clear, easy to read and rugged. It's ideal for outward bound activities and would even suit those at the other end of the activity spectrum such as the elderly who need the clarity.
Midsize White Face Dial Watch