10 December 2014

Watch Wednesday (12/10/14)

In late October I sold a vintage watch on eBay for about three times what I'd paid for it back in 2003 or so, well above what I was expecting to get. I wish I had more old watches that were that valuable (a couple might be, but I don't want to sell them).

Anyway, I didn't splurge on anything (besides rent), but I'd happened to spot a watch on the Timex website that I liked, and being me I figured I could find one for less on eBay. I did, and it only took a couple of days. It was all of $25. (It's $44 on the Timex website.)
It's from their Expedition series but it struck me as a nice variation on the military-style watches that have been popular for the past five years or so. You know, like the Timexes that J. Crew used to sell for $150 (and have since lowered to a still-too-hgh $98). Then Timex came out with the Weekenders on one-piece nylon straps that you can get for about $35 at Target, and those are okay, but they aren't especially rugged and don't have a date function.

This watch is beefier. At 40 mm diameter it's a better size for my wrist, and its case has more heft to it. It just feels more sturdy. I also liked the matte finish case in a gunmetal color, a bit different from the usual silver. (This watch is also available in a matte silver case with the black dial and a white second hand, or a matte black case with a beige dial and black hands.)

I do not love yellow, so I do not love the yellow second hand, but I do like that it's a different color than the rest of the watch's markings—contrast is better, that's another reason why I didn't want the silver-case version. Timex makes other watches that use this same shape second hand in other colors, like orange and red. If I could come across one of those cheaply enough, I might consider having the hand switched out. (Yes, I do tend to get somewhat carried away with this stuff...)

Of course, I had to change the strap. It came with a two-piece version of a nylon NATO strap in olive green. (In case anyone's wondering, the beige-faced version comes on a brown strap and the silver case version on a tan strap.) It was a little long for my wrist, and didn't feel substantial enough for the watch it was on. I first tried one of the kind that looks like carbon fiber but is actually leather, but it was so stiff that even after I'd shaped it to my wrist it was too uncomfortable to wear. The strap in this photo is from a site called Crown & Buckle that sells plenty of NATO straps at pretty reasonable prices, and also carries leather straps that they make, or have made for them.

This one is a fabric that resembles canvas; I've also seen this type of fabric described as sailcloth. The back is leather, it's about 4 mm thick and is soft and sort of squishy. I think it goes well with the overall rugged appearance of the watch. I might at some point put this watch on a tan leather strap with white contrast stitching, because I think that would look good too.

(Side note: all the time I was doing this watch feature regularly, I struggled to take photos that were close enough to show the details of the watch faces and still in focus. It wasn't until a couple of months ago, when I was preparing the eBay listing for the vintage watch, that I finally realized that as long as it's in focus, an image can be made to appear larger and closer-up by cropping it, which I've done here.)

No comments: