I believe I once said that everyone needs to own a Timex. Why not? They are cheap, durable, good looking, and did I mention cheap? The popular Weekender model lists for $45 and you can easily snag one for less. Of course, cheap means nothing without value. A $45 dollar watch should deliver $45 worth of satisfaction, and if it wants The Time Bum's seal of approval, it had better deliver a little bit more.
Weekenders come in wide variety of designs, finishes, and straps. I tried a model T2N653. It has a traditional field watch face with both 12 hour and 24 hour indices. The dial is black with white numerals, polished baton hands, and a red second hand. It is a "full size" model, with a round, brass, 38mm case. This may seem a bit less than "full" by contemporary standards, but it is more than adequate for an average man's wrist, and could easily function as a woman"s watch without appearing oversized. It is also only 9mm thick, which goes a long way in establishing unisex utility. This model wears shiny chrome plating, but satin, black, and bronze tone coatings are also offered. There are no hard angles on the case, the edges and lugs are softly rounded, lending the watch a bit of a vintage look. It is not an aggressive design, but quietly handsome. It is a light weight unit, but unlike many inexpensive quartz watches, it does not feel tinny or flimsy. This may be attributable to the fact that brass is denser than stainless steel, lending a welcome bit of weight to an otherwise small case and light movement.
The crystal is flat mineral glass. Water resistance is a mere 30m, which strikes me as odd for a field watch, but no doubt helps keep costs to the disposable level. There is no illumination on the dial or hands, but instead it has the fantastic Indiglo feature. Press the crown, and the dial lights up clear as day. The downside is that you cannot glance at the time in the dark because you must have a free hand to operate it, but it looks great. The movement within is accurate but very loud. In a quiet room, you can hear the tick from a couple of feet away. Miraculously, the second hand hits all the markers. I haven't the slightest idea how this happened on a cheap Timex when it eludes other, significantly more expensive quartz watches, but I'm not complaining. On the other hand, it arrived with a speck under the crystal, but again, for the price, I'm not complaining.
The strap is a 20mm nylon pass through. At first glance, it looks like a NATO with its polished hardware loops, but it has no bottom strap. The burgundy/grey color was not my favorite, but it kept the watch on my wrist while I found a better one. You will have no trouble finding appropriate straps for your Timex as there is no shortage of 20mm NATOs with polished hardware to choose from, and the Weekender looks good on just about all of them. Of course, a standard two piece leather strap will also do nicely and create an entirely different look.
I purchased this watch for two reasons. First, because I needed another good photography model for 20mm straps. Second, because it was irresistibly cheap. I really did not expect to wear it very much, but I have found it to be a good, casual, grab-it-and-go watch. It is not a tool watch, but then again, I don't always need one. Sometimes it is just fine to have a simple watch that does not take up much room and looks nice with a pop of color on the band. If that watch happens to be dirt cheap, then more's the better.
Pro: Cheap and tasteful.
Con: QC as expected for a watch this cheap.
Sum: Well worth the minimal cost, and worth a spot in your watch box. The Time Bum approves.