Timex Weekender 38 Review

5
347

Timex Weekender and peanutsBefore Timex went nuts with Peanuts and vintage reissues, their everyman Weekender was their darling. In the dozen years or so since its introduction, the modest Weekender continued the ethos of Timex as cheap and cheerful timepiece, continuing its influence on the bottom end of the horological market. Helped in no small part by its signature move . . .

Timex sexed-up its bland three hander by offering the watch with a variety of different colorful and patterned woven straps. Dandies have long done this at home; the concept also found favor for crummy women’s fashion watch sets. The Weekender’s take on multiple bands for the same watch had mass market, ready made, androgynous appeal.

Timex Weekender - Typewriter? I just met her!

The Timex Weekender uses a strap that’s more ZULU than NATO (inexplicably adorning the 40mm Timex Weekender): two metal keepers on a single web, devoid of the fold over bit that prevents the watch from sliding off. Looking to sell extra straps, Timex kept it simple.

Which is just as well. Even with the right tool and experience, swapping straps on a watch with spring bars isn’t exactly plug and play. Any buffoon can slide a one-piece strap through some straight lugs with low-mounted spring bars.

Flat on, the Timex Weekender’s circular case has a narrow radiused bezel, thin lugs and a tidy conventional crown. The chromed brass case has straight sides and the decency to be barely 9mm thick, allowing for a 1.25mm thick strap underneath the snap-down case back. Done!

push buttons

I’ve bemoaned the longevity issues surrounding Timex’s metal plated watch cases. This privately borrowed Timex Weekender and my own Easy Reader each have a decade on them. They’re holding up well, but neither owner has exposed their Timex to salt water, caustic chemicals or abrasive environments; and avoided dropping and bashing into things. If you’re lifestyle includes these horological dangers be prepared to practice Wabi-sabi.

Same goes for the Timex Weekender’s mineral glass crystal. It sits flat and flush, befitting the watch’s thin, minimalist geometry. The glass will live to the first battery change without a scratch, but show a beating if delivered.

A deep dish rehaut with a chapter ring relieves the Weekender’s flat face. Both are utterly devoid of texture or visual interest. The dial looks plasticky, which beats looking papery, but it’s still Costco basic. I’m normally a white dial supremacist, but the flat cold white face is a little too sterile for me.

That said, the dial’s contrast with the black hands is superb. Their tips reach right to the chapter ring for a precise read of the minutes or seconds. The Arabic numeral indices are a tad less bold and the hands a smidge slimmer than an Easy Reader, but the extra nanoseconds required to read them went unnoticed.

Timex Weekender zx 2

There are other colors available. Other colors of everything: case, dial, hands, indices and the strap. For the full Burger King “have it your way” experience, My Timex offers a configurator to specify all of the above, case back engraving and the color of the Indiglo backlight.

Notice that the two watches above offer different dial fonts. The borrowed watch on the left has a light serif font. The 1 has a hockey stick bend at the top, and there’s a curve at the top of the 4 – that really bugs me.

For those wanting the field watch vibe, my example’s (right) 24-hour indices eat up the white space inside the main digits. Hilariously, even these smaller fainter characters are taller than the Timex branding. The Indiglo marking is smaller yet. Lest you need a jewelers loupe to see it, Timex relegated the watch’s 30M water resistance rating (listed on some Timex dials) to the case back.

The Weekender’s design language is clearly Timex and there’s no need to shout it. The crown and buckle are unmarked. In these splashy times, the incredibly restrained branding is a throwback: simultaneously iconic and generic. The Timex Weekender pulls it off.

Weekenders have a reputation for being noisy. I had to put the Weekender up to my ear seashell style to hear it ticking. I didn’t have access to an objective sound measurement device and my hearing is suspect, so . . . it was nothing compared to my old plastic-cased Timex Camper loudly ticking away the moments that make up a dull day.

Unlike some watches – where my dinky wrist (6.5″) takes the tightest hole (watch it!) – the Timex Weekender is a unisex watch with about an inch of adjustment on either side of my wrist. The webbing is firm and substantial without being stiff or bulky. The holes aren’t stretching or fraying yet, so mission accomplished.

Indiglo

Push the Weekender’s crown and cool blue green electronic Indiglo glow lights up the complete dial. Complete meaning you’re confronted by a lit circle with no missing spots (ahem, Easy Reader). The chapter ring’s thickness eats some light, making it difficult to read the exact minute in the dark.

My British brother-from-another-mother, a fellow cheap and small watch lover named Ben Arthur, notes that Timex is going upmarket. I suspect the watchmaker would like to memory hole the Weekender’s economical excellence. Meanwhile, the Timex Weekender is an old model at an old price and still totally worth it.

Model: Timex Weekender 38mm Fabric Strap Watch T2P1429J
Price: $47

SPECIFICATIONS:

Case diameter: 38.5mm
Case thickness: 8.75mm
Lug to lug: 45.5mm
Lug width: 20mm
Case metal: Low lead brass
Crown: Push/pull
Band: Blue nylon slip-thru strap with yellow stripe, 8″ long
Strap measurements: 20 mm wide x 8 inches long x 1.25mm thick
Clasp: Tang Buckle
Weight: 46g (34g w/o strap)
Crystal: Mineral glass
Backlight: INDIGLO® Night-Light
Movement: Quartz analog
Battery: CR2016 cell
Water Resistance: 30m
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Design * * *
Inoffensive but uninspiring, the strap is the star of the show. Undeniably a Timex.

Legibility * * * *
Not as perfectly easy to read as the Easy Reader, but otherwise faultless. Indiglo backlight is there at the push of a button.

Comfort * * * *
It’s a woven nylon strap with sufficient body. Fades from mind until that strap end comes loose and untucked.

Overall * * * *
Offers no fuss and (a) little fun. The watch for starters wanting to play with straps.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I love the Timex Weekender, Camper, and Easy Reader watches. Understated and versatile. I see articles about “one” or “two” watch collections, but a field watch from Timex or Seiko with three to six different Nato straps is the “true” one watch collection, and shabby chic at its finest.

    That said, I wish Timex would do something about the movement. It can’t cost that much to put in quieter movement — I’ve got at least over half a dozen cheap quartz watches that don’t make any noise.

    • It somehow didn’t occur to me to compare the sound of the Weekender to another watch, back to back. Let’s just say that I’m wearing a promotional (read giveaway) watch today and it sounds barely half as loud. I don’t know enough about the pin lever escapement to say with any certainty, but I suspect they use harder materials for durability and the loudness is a by product.

  2. I had some fun playing with their online configurator thingy. Red, white & blue strap with a red Indiglo… SAAAA-LUTE!

    I love me some inexpensive watches, but the 30M “water resistance” is a deal breaker for me. I just don’t trust it, even for hand washing.

    Nice review!

    • I might have to do a column on watch owner hydrophobia. I have a 25 year old Casio chronograph that has lost as many hands as it has. The crown has been missing for a few years now so I adjust it by popping the back off and moving the hands with a finger. I’m sure the snap back seal is pathetic, if even existent anymore. It’s fine, still works a-ok. Short of swimming in a WR watch or two as a teen, I haven’t seen these dreaded water kills.

      It’s odd that the configurator doesn’t show every color option that they sell individually.

      • I might have to do a column on watch owner hydrophobia.

        A symptom of Horo-Rabies aka “rabid watch fanatics.” 😉

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