Timex J Crew - military style watch, 2008
This was probably the earliest, or one of the earliest "collaborations" between Timex and a major clothing retailer. More were to follow. More on this below. Timex sold through the J Crew store. Retail 150 USD. Has approximate homage to Vietnam era US Army issue watches. Case is 35.5 mm
The 'CIRCA 2008' signage on the back is unusual for Timex. Never seen on a Timex caseback. Sense of humor maybe. Or wanting to mark a momentous occasion, the collab.
The crystal is low-profile slightly domed, with a bevel edge. The steel case is interesting, having undergone an instant aging process at the factory, with widespread abrasions to simulate chronic wear, including the crown.
The dial was also distressed. All white dial markings have tiny rat-bite defects, and the green triangle hour indices have tiny black flecks overlying the green. However there is no artificial aging of the metal of the hands, or the luminous filling. Dial itself isn't exactly black, more of a deep charcoal, also evidently a deliberate effect, quite nice. The watch uses standard light-activated luminous material in dial and hands, instead of the Indiglo, Indiglo is a method I will agree is extremely effective, and in face revolutionary, but in my opinion it's hard to make a "classic vintage looking dial," using the Indiglo method.
Watch comes with a black 18 mm NATO type strap.
The J Crew Timex, compared with Timex watches from 1960s and 1970s. Lower left, from 1968, lower right from 1977. Both of these, along with the bullseye one above were 'Sprite' models, all with 31 mm cases, to the 35.5 mm of the J Crew. The bullseye Sprite is one of my all-time favorite Timex dials.
The case size for me is very wearable and has a good presence; not insy winsy in any way, but not overblown. The distressing treatments to the case and dial might evoke in some the same feelings they get, as with artificially distressed denim, and other forms of artificial aging. I generally shy away from these treatments, though I think it works pretty well with this watch. The watch case is steel, and the watch is water resistant.
The lume in this was originally bright white
In 2008, this watch retailed at J Crew Men's Shop in Tribeca housed in the old Liquor Store, and at other New York Stores. It was also available from J Crew catalog and online shopping, but not at other retail stores to my knowledge.
This is arguably the first "collaboration," between Timex and a major clothing retailer. There has certainly been co-branding, with Timex, contracting with various companies and institutions to put their name on the dial (Heinz ketchup, Ritz crackers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Ben Hogan golfer -- many more).
But in terms of allowing another company to be significantly involved in the *design* of the watch, a true creative collaboration, this may be the first. Let me know of any previous that you are aware of. In that respect, this makes this JCrew Timex a significant watch.
We have now seen other true collaborations between Timex and various designers and retailers, including in Japan: Engineered Garments, Beams Boy, Nigel Cabourn, Popeye magazine, Red Wing shoes, Neighborhood, SHIPS, and probably more than I'm aware of, and in the US, quite successfully with designer Todd Snyder New York. In fact, Todd Snyder was the head of menswear design at J Crew at the time this watch was released, and was involved with the design of the project.