Timex J Crew - military watch reproduction 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 WWII era Hamilton and Bulova U.S Army watches, but also to some Vietnam era Army issue watches. Case is larger than either era; J Crew website puts it at '1 and 1/2 inches' ; more accurately measured at 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 itsn't exactly black, more of a deep charcoal, also evidently a deliberate effect. The watch uses standard light-activated luminous material in dial and hands, instead of the Indiglo, Indiglo is a method I will admit is extremely effective but in my opinion is the death-sentence of dial esthetics.
Watch comes with a black 18 mm NATO type strap.
I would have preferred an acrylic crystal to the glass; already I have a nick in the glass, and glass can't be easily buffed out at home, like acrylic.
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 as with artificially distressed denim, and other forms of artificial aging. I generally don't like these treatments, though I confess to having done just this to a Swatch watch case. The watch is cased in SS, and 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. The watch was marketed as being inspired by a WWII-era Timex military contract watch. There was never such watch. In fact, it most resembles the only Timex mil contract watch ever, and that was from 1982. Read more for details.
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 true collaborations between Timex and various designers and retailers, including in Japan: Engineered Garments, Beams Boy, Nigel Cabourn, Popeye magazine, Red Wing shoes, and probably more than I'm aware of, and in the US, with designer Todd Snyder. In fact, Snyder was at J Crew menswear at the time this J Crew Timex was released, and was involved with the project.