Q Timex Hodinkee Limited Edition – Review

The ethos for all Hodinkee collaborations is to extract something that the brand doesn't seem in themselves, so what is it about Timex? In this article, we look into the Q Timex Hodinkee and look at what's so special with this offering.

The Q Timex re-issue, by itself, has been one of the brand’s hottest offering in recent years. With a design most would consider leaning towards ‘classic’, it still remains a largely polarising watch as a whole. Let’s look past the hype today and look at the Q Timex, specifically, the Hodinkee Limited Edition version.

Q Timex Hodinkee Edition - Nomad360

The Case With Quartz

From the Weekender to Expeditions, the styling oozes classicism charm, with one caveat, the movement. Most Timex‘es contain quartz, if not, rather low-grade movements for the money. While Timex stands for durable, practical products, how relevant is it still, when a company prioritises its design over the movement?

Timex watch line including the Q Timex, Timex Indiglo and their dress line
Image: Timex

The release of the original Q Timex in 1979, had not one bit of criticism towards its movement. Every gent who had the dollar wanted a piece of the revolution that is the reliable and accurate quartz technology. So why is it so that in 2019, most defer from that same element?

For one, the modern era has led to ‘Quartz’ watches to be synonymous with cheap, dry objects. Most enthusiasts love stuffing mechanical, however great, movements in their timepieces.

Which brings us to the whole quartz-adoption point, is Timex even catering to enthusiasts? In my opinion, they are starting to their first steps towards that.

First Step In Watch Enthusiasm

Timex Marlin Exhibition Caseback Gif movement

The Timex Marlin line was the first step as the first product offering receiving a hand-wound and automatic offering together. To quote Timex: ” automatic watches have a special place among watch enthusiasts who prefer the craftsmanship and artistry when compared to more common quartz watch movement.”

The statement reveals the brand’s recognition for the enthusiast’s market, and how changes can alter demands for it’s rather consistent styling. Despite the indifferent movement, the Marlin was a hit and received applause from many.

A Change In Design

A look at the original Q Timex from 1979 would tell you that it’s a very different watch now. With the exception of the divers’ line, most Q Timex was bezel-less and has a more dressy design.

Original Q Timex image for comparison
Image from an old eBay listing

The re-issue is modelled after something completely different from the original. Most say that the “Pepsi” design cue originated from the Rolex GMT Master, which makes sense. The Red/Blue combination is instantly recognizable as a colourway going hand-in-hand with a GMT watch. Despite this rather obvious move, Timex should have no qualms given the already-saturated popularity of the design.

Q Timex '70s Reissue comparison with Rolex's Pepsi GMT Master II
Comparison of the Q Timex(Left) and the Rolex GMT Master 2(Right), Image: Timex/Rolex

Hodinkee’s take

As mentioned, Hodinkee extracts a certain underlying aspect of a brand, and release their own take of it. This time around, two elements of the watch were changed, and for me, they were done entirely right.

Bare Metal Bezel

Firstly, to preface my preference for 12-hour bezels, colourless, un-coated steel wins, hands-down. While I understand the bi-colour scheme traditionally used as a design language, it just isn’t the best for the Q Timex. There is a playful element in the red/blue which repudiates my more serious outfit choices.

A Focus on Q Timex Hodinkee Bezel

The Q Timex Hodinkee, with its bare metal bezel, strips most of the playfulness into a more retro look. By taking away the colour element, it allowed itself into a wider variety of wardrobe choices, after all, how wrong can you go with bare steel? Speaking of, the material had also changed from aluminium to steel, another wise choice. I love steel bezels with minor nicks and scratch, but staying with aluminium means that watch scratch much more easily.

A New Dial

Of course, the change in colour scheme couldn’t be an independent change, but Hodinkee didn’t just change the colouring this time. If you had noticed, the Q Timex Hodinkee does not have day-date windows. Yup, both windows are covered-up, revealing a clean, white, symmetrical dial.

A Focus on Q Timex Hodinkee Dial

More often than not, the easier solution for date-window cover-ups would be just the dial, but then ‘phantom date’, an entirely useless crown position remains existent. This collaboration sets to remove any ‘phantom date’, so it’s now just a simple, 3-handed, no complication movement.

The lume on the indices and the now-black handset are in a shade of pale yellow. I felt that some contrast was much needed and thankfully, they were carefully rendered and weren’t reminiscent of bright school highlighters.

My Wearing Experience

One overlooked feature I noticed is the articulation of the bracelet, when released, the bracelet lays more like a strap, which makes it ideal for storing in pouches.

Q Timex Hodinkee laying flat on a table top

For my wrist measuring at around 6.5 inches though, this watch wears incredibly well and feels right. Despite the rather flimsy bracelet, the case did not wear top-heavy due to the light casing of the quartz movement. Along with this much more versatile colour scheme, the wearability made the watch quite a contender for a casual day out when I would be lazy to set the time on some of my mechanical alternatives.

Q Timex Hodinkee Bezel on the wrist

As for the construction, it didn’t felt robust nor too fragile. While it is a modern re-issue, the acrylic crystal with the bracelet choice made it such that I won’t need to baby it, but would want to watch where my wrist is heading. My only concern mostly resides with the polished edges behind the bezel, which would’ve been a downside, but it made the watch look so much better than a brushed alternative.

Final thoughts

Personally, for someone who owns a more monochromatic wardrobe, this variant tops it off. In the quest for looking at more versatility, most would overlook that sometimes, the simple thing to do is to do less. The no-nonsense and more minimalistic approach in this collaboration is certainly worth the look.

As mentioned earlier, Timex, with their march towards a more favourable design definitely hit home with this one, by the looks of the different finishes on the facet of the case, one would argue that even without high-end craftsmanship, a brand can still produce eye-candy for enthusiasts.

Check out our Youtube video where we not only unbox, review but also performed a little DIY project where we modified our 20mm leather strap to produce a seamless “step-leather” strap for the Q Timex.

Are you a fan of the Q Timex? For myself, it’s an incredible package and there’s very little I would change, especially this Q Timex Hodinkee version. If you’re on the fence for its movement and need some help to decide, check out our past article, where we discuss the differences between Quartz and Mechanical movements.

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