"THE MOD WATCH" - pics and review, by Alan (email here) Collaboration between Timex and a New York designer Todd Snyder, to pay homage to a Timex classic. The first image above is from the website of the designer, Todd Snyder. All other watch images are taken by myself.
The watch is really pretty nice. It's large, 38 mm in diameter (excluding the crown) and 10 mm thick. The case appears to be stainless steel, and is quite robust.
The dial is based on a Timex watch that sold during 1971-1973 which was part of a line of Timex watches called "Sprite." Timex never gave unique names to unique watches, but instead distinguished them only by model numbers. Therefore it never had a defined name, and collectors have given it various names. For a lot more information about this watch, click this link to get to a page dedicated to the original watch.
I won't go into much detail about the dial here, as the above linked page has great detail; I will say that the dial appears to be a very faithful reproduction.
Although the watch is much larger than the original, the relative proportions of the dial elements appears to be preserved. The hands are not exactly identical, but are pretty good. These two pictures of the luminous material in the hour and minute hands are kind of misleading. If you take a very bright light and shine it into the dial for maybe 15 seconds, remove the light and quickly take a picture, you will briefly get this pretty appearance. In daily practice, the luminous material is a bit weak, does not last long, and I couldn't really see much in the darkness. But I really like the pics.
Double click here to add text.
They named this watch MOD TIMEX WATCH, and said it is based on a design "discovered in the Timex archives." This makes it seem like it was a forgotten design buried away and otherwise unknown, and now resurrected in this watch. I don't know if this was the intention, but it makes it seem that Timex and the designer were unaware of all the web activity (and copious photographs) and enthusiasm for this watch over ~ 15 years. If the design, long praised by collectors, was unknown to them and/or forgotten, and only "discovered in the Timex archives," they hadn't noticed the web attention.
Oblique/side view of the case. Case is very nice. The steel back is signed by Timex and by the designer. Very helpful: the caseback lists the type of battery you need, when you need to replace it! It would have been nice to have WATER RESISTANT where it was on the original dial. Also, it would have been a great and humorous nod if below the 6 was 231702471.
Below, crystal very slightly raised above the front of the case. Uncertain if it's acrylic or sapphire glass.
Also, somewhat philosophically, why was this watch called "Mod?" What exactly is Mod. Does it refer to the British youth culture and style of the early 1960s? Is it a reference to the "target-looking" roundel painted on aircraft of the Royal Air Force, adopted as the Mods as an emblem of identification?
It is interesting in that the Mods' appropriation of the RAF roundel was about a kind of nationalism, or patriotism, but more in the way that they were proud of being Mods, and about how they saw Mod as being exclusively British. The Mods were apolitical, or rather were entirely, and rather gloriously, about class politics in England. So, it may seem funny that an iconic American watch company has teamed up with an American designer to produce a (very lovely) watch, and call it THE MOD WATCH.
Main page on the 1970s Sprite. CLICK
This leaves us with "MOD" being just a cool-sounding name, used certainly by many other brands as well, mostly likely to obliquely and possibly unconsciously, invoke the long-lasting appeal and attachment to the 1960s Mods. To borrow from them, at least in name, an affiliation with their style, their impeccable tailored suits, the whole thing.
Finally, this page could not be complete without a side-by-side image of the new, much larger watch and the original which it pays respects to. The original is a wonderful and charming old mechanical Timex deserving of all of its accolades. The reproduction is a big, robust watch with a very faithfully reproduced dial in a good case. If it were was powered by a mechanical instead of a quartz movement, it would have hit a home run on most everything. It is a very good watch, and I'm pleased for the collaborative effort that led to its production.
BTW, I forgot to mention the strap. It comes with a really good grey nylon strap with steel buckle, that complements the watch well, and feels comfortable. It's of the type sometimes called "NATO," more accurately "G10," for the number G1098 of the British Ministry of Defence's "Strap, Wrist Watch" specification of 1973. I also have tried it on this steel mesh bracelet, which I think looks really great for a more metal looking watch. I don't mean "metal" like omg that is so metal, but I just mean regular metal. It's very comfortable, no pinching, with an infinitely adjustable clasp so the fit is actually better than the strap the watch came with as far as fit, as the perfect fit for my wrist was between holes.
Beautiful crown on this watch, with its rubber gasket.
X-ray image through this watch. X-rays of mechanical watches are far more interesting than those of quartz watches. The round density in the center will be the battery. Much of the moveemnt/housing seems to be made of plastic, accounting for the somewhat empty appearance around the periphery.