Q Timex: The Return of a ’70s Icon

Dec 07, 2020
Q Timex: The Return of a ’70s Icon

About a year ago, Timex launched a reissue of a familiar Pepsi-coloured sports watch called the “Q Timex.” A lot of people, including non-watch enthusiasts, went crazy over it. Stocks sold out fast and scalpers were selling it for double the SRP. Timex doesn’t strike many people as the type to have scalpers. But, what exactly is so special about the Q Timex?

 

Q Timex: A ’70s Icon

The Q Timex was a popular model back in the 1970s. In fact, it was released during a time when the watch industry had just been disrupted by the introduction of quartz watches. During that time, a lot of American watchmakers like Hamilton were forced to sell their names to foreign corporations. Meanwhile, Timex stayed in America, but in order to survive the financial disaster, they had to enter the quartz watch market.

Although this wasn’t Timex’s first quartz timepiece, it became one of the brand’s most famous models. Apart from its quartz movement, it utilised design cues that were trendy during that era. A few of those are the mesh bracelet, the Pepsi colourway, and the angular case.

Another special thing about this watch is that it was an easy way to get into the hobby. People who couldn’t afford a Rolex GMT Master can buy this instead and still have an attractive-looking watch. Decades after its release, the Q Timex still holds this ethos. This is one of the reasons why Timex will always have a special place in the history of horology.

The 2019 Reissue of the Q Timex

During the past year, the Connecticut-based watch brand has been releasing bomb reissues one after the other, from the hand-wound Marlin of the ’60s to the digital Pacman-inspired T-80 of the ’80s. Then in 2019, they launched a reissue of the popular diver-inspired watch. From the bracelet to the bezel, this model is a 1:1 reproduction of the retro timepiece.

As mentioned, the community’s reception was overwhelming. In fact, the watch sold out in an instant. This was unsurprising as retro watches are trendy for a while. Let’s get a closer look at how the Q Timex fares by reading the review below.

Q Timex 2019 edition watch ad

Case

Everything about this watch’s case screams the ’70s. And while a lot of brands give their reissues a modern treatment by enlarging the case, Timex opted to retain the original size of the Q. Its 38mm stainless steel exterior proves to be a sweet spot for both men and women. To boot, its 12mm thickness is also comfortable on the wrist.

Another familiar feature of the 2019 reissue is the hooded lugs. I think this is the part of the case that gives it the most character. From the top, the lugs create a steep angle that reminds me of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Meanwhile, the brushed surface is the icing on the cake.

Bezel

There is one thing that makes the Q Timex’s bezel different from those found in typical dive watches, and it is how the bezel feels when being turned. If you’re a dive watch enthusiast, you must be familiar with the clicks that each turn makes. This one, however, will rotate smoothly in two directions. Enthusiasts call this the “friction bezel”.

One gripe that some fans have about this part is its lack of GMT function despite using a GMT-style bezel. Some people believe that these bezels are only for the true dual-timezone watches.

 

Dial

front view of Q Timex Pepsi 2019 edition watch
Q Timex in a Pepsi colourway

Two words to describe the Q’s dial: classic and attractive. Indeed, it has everything that you loved about the original Q from the ’70s. It has round indexes as hour markers and lollipop hands. To give it a retro touch, Timex added faux patina to them. Whether you like it or not depends on your personal preference, but I personally think that it is nicely executed.

On top of the dial is a domed acrylic crystal. Though it is a very subtle detail, you will appreciate the visual interest it adds when looking up close. It also gives you more of that retro vibe, as domed crystals were extremely popular back in the 70s.

Movement

Considering that the Q Timex is a quartz watch, there’s nothing much to see in this department. However, it is important to note that this watch uses a Seiko SII Epson PC33 movement. And as we all know, Seiko is the bomb when it comes to making reliable calibres.

This calibre provides both day and date functions beside the 3 o’clock position. But the downside is that the day is not quick-set. Meaning, you can only adjust it manually by winding the hands past midnight. But this shouldn’t be much of an issue since you wouldn’t have to adjust it too much as it will continuously run until the battery wears off, unlike an automatic which you have to adjust every now and then.

Battery Hatch

case back of Q Timex Pepsi 2019 edition watch
Battery hatch of the Q Timex

Flipping the watch over, we have a true-to-the-past caseback. It has a brushed finish and is very minimal when it comes to design. Apart from the stamped information, the only thing you will see is the battery door. This small feature will let you change batteries without having to go to a watch store. All you have to do is just stick a coin in the slot and turn it until it opens.

Bracelet

mesh bracelet of Q Timex Pepsi 2019 edition watch
Mesh bracelet of the Q Timex

Last but not least, we have what Timex calls the steel mesh bracelet. It is very original and certainly lends an old school look to the watch. And in terms of comfort, it is very lightweight and flexible. Adjusting the fit of the bracelet is also a pleasure as you can easily slide the clasp.

The only downside that I could think of about the bracelet is that it can pull on your arm hair especially if you’re on the hairy side. Some people have reported it to be painful. However, you can always change it to an Oyster style bracelet or a leather strap if it becomes unbearable.

Pros and Cons of the Q Timex

Pros

1. It is affordable

It’s no wonder why “budget Rolex GMT” is one of the nicknames that the Q Timex is known for. True enough, this timepiece makes it easier for fans to own a Pepsi-inspired model without breaking the bank.

2. It is a 1:1 reproduction of the original Q Timex

When we say that this watch is a faithful reissue of the original Q, we mean it. Indeed, the 2019 version is indistinguishable from the ’70s model. The bracelet, domed crystal, and even the subtlest details like the battery hatch can all be found in its predecessor.

Cons

1. It is hard to find

Just when you think that lining up and waiting for months for a restock is reserved for the likes of Omega and Rolex, Timex proves you wrong. To demonstrate, it sold out within a day the first time Timex released the 2019 reissue.

Of course, you can always opt to buy from resellers. However, many of them are selling it double its original price. The good news is that Timex restocks from time to time, so if you don’t need it right now, we suggest waiting instead.

Recommended Q Timex Models

Back in the ’70s, people only had one choice for the Q Timex — the Pepsi version. Now, fans are blessed with more options. Here are a few Q flavours that you should check out.

1. Q Timex Pepsi

front view of Q Timex Pepsi 2019 edition watch

Q Timex Pepsi Specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimensions: 38mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Power reserve: n/a
  • Water resistance: 50m

Why Is It Good?

The original Q Timex in the ’70s sported the blue, red, and white colourway, or commonly known as the Q Timex Pepsi. In fact, a lot of people treated it as a budget version of the Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi. Although you must note that this model is not a GMT watch, but rather a diver-inspired watch.

Looking at the bezel, the top half comes in a navy blue colour while the bottom half is in red. It also comes in a metallic sheen that adds so much visual interest, especially if you’re viewing it from different angles.

The dial comes in an almost-purple dark blue shade. Although it does not come in the exact hue as the upper half of the bezel, it blends in well with the rest of the design. It is also dark enough to make the hands and hour markers stand out.

For people who are fans of the Pepsi colourway, this is the obvious choice. It is also the colourway to get if you want to get as close to the original Q model as possible.

2. Q Timex Root Beer

front view of Q Timex Root Beer watch

Q Timex Root Beer specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 38mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Power reserve: n/a
  • Water resistance: 50m

Why Is It Good?

Taking its retro looks to another level, Timex released a Q Root Beer Edition. Unlike the Pepsi version, this one comes in a rose gold case and bracelet. Needless to say, its colourway is attention-grabbing yet elegant at the same time.

The dial comes in a black background, and while the hour markers and hands are the same as the Pepsi, its colour is slightly different. This one comes with a yellowish lume that complements the rose gold. Furthermore, its day and date window comes in a black background to give it a cleaner and simpler look.

Apart from colour, there are no other differences between this and the Pepsi model. It has the same lightweight bracelet and a useful battery hatch at the back. Moreover, it runs on the same movement and sports the same measurements you have come to love in the original Q Timex.

A lot of people call this the “budget Rolex GMT Root Beer” and rightly so. If you are in the mood for an affordable watch that has flashy looks, the Q Root Beer is worth your consideration.

3. Q Timex Falcon Eye

front view of Q Timex Falcon Eye watch

 

Q Timex Falcon Eye specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 38mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Power reserve: n/a
  • Water resistance: 50m

Why Is It Good?

Among the watches in this list, the Falcon Eye edition is the black sheep. And you might have observed that the first two models only differ in colourway. This one, however, is very different from the dial up to the bracelet. But rest assured that the Q Timex DNA can still be found in this edition.

The most obvious difference is the Falcon Eye’s lack of rotating bezel. Instead of a two-toned GMT bezel, it has a gold-plated one. Moving inwards, its dial is ornamental yet legible at the same time. Instead of round hour markers, it uses applied gold and white indexes that blend perfectly with the sapphire blue background.

When it comes to the bracelet, this edition uses something that resembles the Jubilee style that you can see on some Rolex models. While bracelet preference is subject to personal tastes, this makes the watch look more elegant, compared with the mesh style of the other Q Timex models.

The way I see it, the Q Timex Falcon Eye is for those who want a taste of the Q Timex lineup but need something more formal. While it strays away from the aesthetic that the Q Timex is known for, it keeps the Q Timex essence inside. The quartz movement and battery hatch are just some of the things that will sound familiar to every fan.

4. Timex M79 Batman

front view of Timex M79 watch

Timex M79 specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 40 hours
  • Water resistance: 50m

Why Is It Good?

The Q Timex is known for its quartz movement, but Timex didn’t want to exclude the purists from the party. So, some time after the quartz version’s release, an automatic edition of the timepiece was introduced. So instead of naming it “Q”, they named it the Timex M79. M means “mechanical” while “79” stands for the year the Q was released.

While it is still obvious that it is related to the Q, it has a few differences that you will notice. The first is the bezel. It comes in a “Batman” colourway and is significantly thicker. Its case is 40mm in diameter with a 20mm lug width. And instead of being bidirectional, its bezel is unidirectional. In all honesty, this model gives off a dive watch vibe instead of the GMT look that the Q was going for.

The movement is an automatic Japanese Miyota day/date calibre. It runs at a frequency of 3Hz and can power the watch for up to 40 hours. Overall, this calibre is trusted and you can expect it to do the job well.

If the only thing that’s stopping you from buying the Q is its quartz movement, then you can give the M79 a chance.

Final Notes

There is not much to complain about the Q Timex especially when it comes to its price point. Whether you’re looking for a Pepsi-inspired steel watch or a ’70s-era timepiece, you can never go wrong with this one. No doubt that the demand for this watch is still high and we do hope that the Q Timex is here to stay.

 

Still can’t quench your thirst for Pepsi watches? Check out our review on the Tudor GMT!

 

Photo credits: Images courtesy of Timex

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