Todd Snyder x Timex Q Bracelet Review

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Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet $ shot

“Todd Snyder is the man who slimmed down your suit, persuaded you to shop in a liquor store, and got you to buy a turtleneck,” GQ.com opines. No, no and no. But I do love me some minimalist watchmaking. Will the buttoned-down Todd Snyder x Timex Q Bracelet [finally] persuade me to wear a designer watch? . . .

Disclaimer: I know shit from Shinola. I don’t have anything against inexpensive watches. It’s cheap watches I can’t abide: poorly made products that pretend to be something they’re not and sleaze the details.

Original Timex Q

I guess you could say the Todd Snyder x Timex Q pretends to be the old Timex Q. But is that fair? Are retro reissues modified for modern tastes inherently lazy reproductions or a recognition of good design? Yes!

The new Bracelet Q is still a small black-faced quartz watch with a day/date candy bar, rectangular indices, a railroad track rehaut and a brick-style bracelet. While Mr. Snyder felt obliged to put his stamp on the Q, the Iowa-born fashion baron hasn’t messed with the 70’s Timex Q. Much. Just enough to screw it up.

Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet on wrist

Why (oh why) did Mr. Snyder move the luminous dots from inside the indices to outside, lume the dots and not the indices, and put the indices on a starvation diet?

Why does the word QUARTZ now balance on the 5 and 7 indices, rather than leaving some negative space for a less-crowded, more balanced and more faithful-to-the-’70’s look? And then there’s quality, or lack thereof . . .

Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet day date

The day and date aren’t centered on the wheel. “In ancient times, tau was used as a symbol for life or resurrection,” wikipedia.org reveals. Great, but so much for Thursday. The difference in font thickness between the day and the date may be true to the original. If so, that would have been a good place for an “update.”

File the new Q’s hour and second hands under “would have been better left alone.” The original’s were fat ass sticks. The new hands are slimmer than Mr. Snyder’s male models. The skinny jeans-inspired design dings readability – but not as much as the lack of anti-reflective coating on the new Q’s vintage-style “boxed” domed acrylic crystal (a.k.a., dial distorting scratch magnet).

Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet second hand

The Todd Snyder x Timex Q Bracelet’s tiny second hand is red with a dot near the tip. Despite the dial’s matching red cross-hatching, the second hand pops like an opened can of soda – that’s been left out for a few hours.

Its pointy bit only hits the seconds indices dead on during some of its 60-second circumnavigation. At varying points in its journey, it misses the mark by as much as half a second. You can see the problem in their official PR shot.

Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet lume

Look very closely and you’ll see that the indices and hands are lightly lumed. Unless you juice them with a Surefire, their dim glow brings to mind the UK’s Q ships.

I’ve had breath mints that last longer. Even after a hot flashlight bath, the lume fades to pretty much nothing in 10 minutes. This from a brand that lit up Oscar’s life with their groundbreaking Indiglo dial. Easy Reader the Q Bracelet ain’t.

Todd Snyder X Timex and Rex

The most obvious modification: the Todd Snyder x Timex Q Bracelet’s divers’ bezel. Sorry, “dive inspired” bezel – 50m water resistance puts paid to any idea of underwater adventure. The “frosted” surface works well against the black dial and polished silver case, but it also makes a small watch face look smaller.

Worse, the bezel glides around the Q Bracelet’s dial like a curling stone on fresh ice; it stays put like a freshly woken five-week old bull terrier. So I guess it’s good that the Q Bracelet can’t dive; the wearer could die from mistimed oxygen use.

Cheap clasp

The Todd Snyder x Timex Q Bracelet’s “brick style” bracelet conforms to the original’s (also found on the IWC Porsche Design Titanium Chronograph). It’s a visually beguiling, thoroughly nasty piece of work.

Operating the stamped steel clasp is as satisfying as peeling a badly boiled egg. The links – made of rolled and pressed steel in The People’s Republic of China – are hollow. They’re carefully designed to pluck hair from the hirsute. Once that’s done, the three ounce timekeeper’s comfortable enough for government work.

Timex caseback 3

The Q Bracelet’s powered by a Hattori quartz PC33 movement (yours for $8.95). The always-faithful Timegrapher couldn’t read the watch.

As best I can tell, the Japanese engine’s accurate to +/-30 seconds per month. The battery’s good for three years, accessed via a hatch and spare change.

Bruce Willis wearing Todd Snyder
Courtesy gq.com (click on image for link)

Taken as a whole, Mr. Snyder’s watch is wholly inoffensive – which is a pretty good description of his clothes (that still managed to make Bruce Willis look like a dork). But the Todd Synder X Timex Q Bracelet feels cheap.

Braun BN0231

OK, sure, you can’t expect a Chevy Spark to look, feel or perform like a Mercedes S-Class. Yes but – a $50 German-designed Braun quartz watch is a better-looking, better built 38mm timepiece. As are a great many inexpensive watches. (A Marathon man can have his lume and read it too.)

Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet on side

If you gotta have that Timex vintage vibe, you could buy the original Timex Q for $60. But then you wouldn’t have the cachet of wearing a box-fresh horological collaboration from the man who made turtlenecks cool. As for me, the X in the Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet marks the spot where Timex strayed from its legacy of legibility. Pass.

Model: Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet
Price: $179

SPECIFICATIONS:

Case Width: 38mm
Case Height: 11.5mm
Strap and Lug Width: 18mm
Case and Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Case Finish: Brushed/Polished
Dial Color: Black
Band: Rolled and pressed “brick style” stainless steel
Buckle/Clasp: Stamped stainless steel single fold-over clasp
Crystal: Acrylic
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Weight: 3 ozs.

RATINGS:

Design * * 
Semi-faithful “re-imagining” of the 70’s Timex Q adds a slip sliding “diver inspired” bezel to an inoffensive-to-a-fault design.

Legibility * * 
Not entirely horrible but hardly brand faithful. Weak lume loses luminosity in minutes.

Comfort * * * * 
Once it pulls the hair out from under the brick-style bracelet, there’s plenty of lightweight comfort.

Overall * * 
Limited legibility, lousy lume and a fashion-victims-need-apply bezel complete a bland watch that’s more to do with brand recognition than style or value.

-40-

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I assume that I’m one of the people that these Timex watch reissues are aimed at. I don’t have Rolex money, but I love the vintage look and the use of automatic movements in some of these reissues. When they do the quartz movements, the battery hatch is a value add.

    But I can’t get past those acrylic crystals, smaller case sizes, and the Seagull (?) automatic movements they are using. For what Timex and Todd Snyder are charging for this Q reissse/revamp, I can buy two Chinese Rolex (or Tudor) “homages” with sterile dials, my choice of a Seiko or Seagull automatic movements, and a sapphire crystal, and a 40mm case, or an automatic from a microbrand with a sapphire crystal, Seiko automatic movement, and an automatic case.

  2. Wow. First… I’ve never heard of this Snyder character. But, then… I’m a knuckle-dragging toxicly-masculine opposite of a fashion plate, who is far more likely to read Guns & Ammo than GQ.

    As I was reading the section about the seconds hand, I kept going back to the photo thinking, “Am I blind?? I don’t see a second hand!” Then I FINALLY found the little red dot at the end of the otherwise invisible second hand. Seriously… I had to SEARCH for it in a 450-pixel wide close-up of the dial, and I’m wearing my readers! OH! There it is!

    But, I had NO problem finding the ginormous “QUARTZ” logo, which is oddly bigger than the TIMEX brand logo.

    Finally… $179 for THAT watch? Pass… I’ll find me another cool Casio analog for that much (or less).

  3. This shows the difference between industrial design and fashion design. The former cares about function, the latter only about looks that sell. I can’t blame him for the silly bezel, as it looks like he got stuck with the existing QTimex case, sadly. Then again, couldn’t there have been a Col. Kurtz-esue bezel delete?

    The inanity of having any hand the same color as the dial is something I’ve condemned in the past, and this exacerbates the issue by adding red dial crosshairs that contrast how the poor seconds hand should. At least the red doesn’t seem to pop as in the manufacturer photos.

    • I’m a flat white sipping, giallo watching, graphic tee guy myself, and even I think a cheaper Casio would be a better “look”. If I’m going to get a metal bracelet and a muscular looking case, I want those hands to match.

      Part of the problem is that while I don’t know anything about Todd Snyder, it wouldn’t surprise me if he wore an Apple watch or went watchless or wore something more “bling” like a Rolex or Richard Mille.

      • Before today, I thought he was Tom Snyder, former host of the Late Show, but I now know him to be the lightly hipster Ron Swanson. Based on image search, the one decent photo is of him wearing some surprisingly proper sized dive watch on a Bond NATO strap.
        https://liber.post-gazette.com/image/2015/11/02/ca390,119,1809,1877/americaeagletoddsnyder-1103-2.jpg
        I’m all for Timex using real materials and ditching the plated brass cases and willing to pay more for it. But even were I somehow taken by this model, the value proposition is not compelling.

        • Initially, I made the same mistake: I read Tom Snyder.

          TS was easily the best interviewer on TV: funny, ballsy, intense. His program was long format; you really got to know his subject. And TS smoked on air!

          These days, all the so-called interviewers are partisan hacks, on both sides of the political spectrum (with the possible exception of Chris Wallace).

          And of course, Todd Snyder wears a “proper” dive watch. He was, after all, Ralph Lauren’s protege. Both men – one an Iowan outsider the other a Jew who changed his name – operating with a profound understanding of, and love for, WASP culture.

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