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 & designer (Todd Snyder, head of J Crew menswear at the time). More were to follow. More on this below. Retail 150 USD. Has approximate homage to Vietnam-era US Army issue watches. Case is 35.5 mm. Quartz movement. NEW & related: "How Timex Collaborated Its Way to Being Cool Again," in Esquire, November, 2016.
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 aging process at the factory, with widespread abrasions to simulate chronic wear, including the crown.
The dial was also distressed. All of the 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. The 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. [Since writing this, I have seen many more recent Indiglo dials which are very good, so I take that back...]
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, and was done as an homage by Todd Snyder, very nice.
The case size for me is very wearable and has a good presence; not small in any way, but not overblown. The distressing treatments to the case and dial might evoke in some the same feelings they get when they see artificially distressed denim, and other forms of artificial aging. I generally shy away from these treatments, but 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 other online shopping.
(The J. Crew "Liquor Store" has since closed, as per the above link. I was there once, maybe 2009 or 2010.)
This is arguably the first "collaboration," between Timex and a major clothing retailer and designer. 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, many more).
But putting the name of a company or organization on the dial alone is not collaborative design. 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. But I'm not certain of this. Please let me know of any previous true design collaborations that you are aware of.
We have since seen other true design collaborations between Timex and various designers and retailers. Listed here are some, but certainly not all: Engineered Garments / Daiki Suzuki, BEAMS & BEAMS BOY, Nigel Cabourn, Todd Snyder, It's Nice That / Camelot, NEIGHBORHOOD, Goodhood, COEN, END Clothing, MAKNA, Converse, Carharrt, You Must Create, and others.
As mentioned at the top, Todd Snyder was the head of menswear design at J Crew at the time this 2008 watch was released, and was involved with the design of the project.
Thank you for reading.
I hope you will like it
This image from J. Crew / TIMEX. All other watch pics on this page are mine.