For as long as I can remember, Timex has been the company for budget watches. Their brand is as synonymous with affordable as the Casio G-Shock line is with durable. So when I needed a new watch (as my Bertucci A-2T was out for repair), I knew betting odds would land me with a Weekender of some sort. Granted, I tried to track down a nicer watch in the local pawn shops, but it appears that no one in Bakersfield has good taste – or that those who do aren’t in a hurry to offload their watches. It could be either one.
After the aforementioned fruitless search, I decided on the Timex Weekender Chrono Oversized. (Note: there is no ‘Regular’ Weekender Chrono, so I don’t understand the ‘Oversized’ moniker.) It was attractive without being fussy, fit my wrist well, and was distinct enough from the Bertucci A-2T that I felt it would complement my collection, not end up as needless clutter. When I purchased it, the price was around 50USD, and it’s seemed to hover there ever since. The warranty service on my A-2T took longer than expected, so I wore the Weekender exclusively for two months and then some. Here are the impressions I gathered.
Case and Movement
The case on the Weekender Chrono Oversized is 40mm wide, 9mm tall, and has a lug width of 20mm. It weighs just over 2 ounces. On the whole, I’ve been nothing but impressed with the case. The high polish and simple design grant it an elegance that many watches – even significantly more expensive ones – can’t claim to possess. I do have to admit that until recently I thought that the case was made of stainless steel; as it turns out, it’s made of brass. Does this have a practical effect on the Weekender’s performance? Not in my experience. In fact, as trendy as brass and copper are in the gear community at large, I’m surprised I don’t see more unpolished Weekenders floating around on Instagram.
Information on the movement that the Weekender uses is in short supply. The internet informs me that the movement is known as the W92, which is the same movement Timex uses on their other chronographs. This is a quartz movement manufactured in the Philippines, and it’s probable that the case has the same origins. I have no complaints regarding the movement. While not as interesting as an automatic or a mechanical, quartz movements are reliable, accurate, and cheap. The battery will need replacement every few years, though I would expect that estimate to diminish if you frequently use the “Indiglo” feature.
Dial and Bezel
Of course, the reason that I settled on this particular Timex was the dial. I’ve never owned a chronograph, and something about the numerous dials was strangely appealing. It’s cluttered – even busy – but not any less legible for it. The arabic numerals at 2, 6, and 10 are occluded by the chronograph complications, and a date function is set next to the 4 o’clock position. 24 hour numerals are also included on the outermost ring of the dial, though they’re so small that it isn’t information you can gather at a glance. All of this is protected by a mineral crystal. From a material standpoint, it’s not as nice as Seiko’s Hardlex or a sapphire crystal, but for the price point I can’t register any complaints. Mine hasn’t picked up any scratches, even while working or when I was trying to corral a particularly bite-prone husky pup.
In the interests of full disclosure, I feel you should know that I’ve never actually used the chronograph feature. That’s not to say I haven’t futzed around with it: I have. You just won’t get any ‘Apollo 13’-esque stories out of me. The Weekender Chrono can measure time in minutes (up to 30, using the dial at 10 o’clock), seconds (using the large seconds hand), and 0.05 of a second (using the dial at 2 o’clock). I made an effort to discover the practical applications of a chronograph for the sake of this review. That effort failed. For those who are interested in sports – specifically track and field – I can see the value in an integrated stopwatch. In my line of work it’s simply unnecessary.
For those steely-eyed readers who have been paying attention: yes, the large second hand is used only for the chronograph, while the small seconds dial located at the 6 o’clock position is used for normal timekeeping. Using all the small dials together would make some kind of sense. We couldn’t possibly have that.
Strap and on the Wrist
My Weekender came with a leather NATO strap. The buckle and keepers are made of stainless steel, and the leather is certainly genuine; though that isn’t exactly high quality. Odds are that I’ll need to replace the strap before the battery. It’s worth noting that the photos on their website don’t quite convey the color of the leather. Online, the strap looks light enough to resemble flesh tones, but in reality it has warmer overtones. On the wrist (especially after a few days of sun and sweat) the leather darkened enough that I was no longer concerned. If you like the watch but not the strap, it’s not the end of the world. Not only are there a bevy of aftermarket options, but Timex offers a wide range of replacements. I’d recommend the former.
I don’t keep up with the watch world, so most of my impressions originate in listening to Andrew Lang (aka 555 Gear) on Gear Geeks Live. Somewhere along the line, I became convinced that 40mm was huge for a watch. After owning and regularly wearing two 40mm watches (and now one nearing 45mm), I’m not so sure. The Weekender Chrono Oversized is not just a wide watch, but a fairly tall watch; yet I’ve never had a problem. It slips under shirt sleeves with ease and doesn’t feel like a hubcap on my wrist.
Timex Weekender Chronograph – Final Thoughts
No product exists in a vacuum, of course. Competition for this slice of the market is surprisingly fierce. The most noteworthy contenders are – in my view, at least – the Seiko 5 and the Casio G-Shock. All three offer a fantastic value proposition, and I think this is honestly a case where the only determining factor is personal preference. If you need something on the bombproof end of things, go with the G-Shock; an introduction to automatic watches, the Seiko 5; but if you want an inexpensive but fashionable watch, go with the Timex. I’m glad I chose the Weekender. It fit my needs, and I reach for it more frequently than I expected.
Who should buy the Weekender? Well, that’s a bit of a tricky question. I recently purchased my first automatic: a Seiko SRP779. I don’t want to gush – I’m still in the honeymoon period, and I know that – but so many of the entrancing details on the SRP779 simply aren’t found on the Weekender. That isn’t a criticism; the SRP779 costs several times what the Weekender does. But I can’t say whether someone who is accustomed to higher end watches will find value in the Weekender. It is a truly great entry level watch, and I can’t detract from that. If you’re looking for your first watch or if you’re on a budget, I heartily recommend the Weekender Chrono Oversized.
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