"Engineered Garments × TIMEX / bespoke 別注 SST Camper."
Japan Timex original collaboration "BEAMS BOY x Engineered Garments x TIMEX SS Camper," evokes a Vietnam-era US contract specification MIL-W-46374B watch. Review, with many photos. by Alan.
I feel fortunate to have this watch. I am grateful to those from whom I learned of these watches, and for the help of a friend in Japan who obtained it and sent it to me in the US. Before my own description, let me copy the machine translation from the sales site. It is also reprinted further below in the original Japanese.
<BEAMS BOY> 20th anniversary bespoke watch
We reprinted the special watch of <Engineered Garments (Engineered Garments)> and <TIMEX (Timex)> sold out shortly in commemoration to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of <BEAMS BOY (Beams Boy)>!
Based on "ORIGINAL CAMPER" a stainless steel case with a domed mineral glass windshield installed, a Japanese project model, commonly known as "SST CAMPER" was adopted. Although the mirror design and the logo are mirror reversed, the needle is a normal clockwise, precious wrist watch finished in a design full of playfulness that seems to be <ENGINEERED GARMENTS>. We prepared boxes with special specifications according to the body color.
category:Watch > Wrist Watch size:ONE SIZE Material:Case: stainless steel, windshield: mineral glass, belt: nylon Country of origin:made in Japan Item Number:13-48-0002-232
ONE SIZE:Width 1.8 / Around the wrist 15 to 20.5 / Dial diameter: 3.2
This watch, powered by a Japanese quartz movement, is the latest in a series of mirror-dial "Camper" watches produced exclusively by Timex Japan in collaboration with clothing company Engineered Garments.
("Engineered Garments got its name from a pattern-maker who had been hired to draft the first round of patterns for one of Daiki Suzuki's collections. She commented "that the clothes were not designed, but engineered due to the vast amount of detailing involved in each garment.")
This collaboration is a playful take on an earlier Japan Timex watch, the Camper, which itself is an emulation of a Vietnam-era milspec watch that was produced by Timex in very limited quantities in 1982. More on this later. So, where is the playful? If you have not already noticed, take a look at the numbers and signage on the dial. Everything is a mirror image of the original Timex Camper dial. Of course, the movement runs forward, otherwise this would be completely insane. Read more here, from a Japanese magazine devoted to TIMEX. Also, two pics of this watch from the magazine, here, and here.
The Timex Camper that was originally made by Timex Japan came in olive case color, and was made of resin/plastic material, similar to the rare 1982 watch. The cases of these watches, true to the Vietnam-era contract specification watch, had fixed lugs.
The 2016 collaboration with Engineered Garments & Beams had resin cases as well, in two colors, olive and navy blue. (Black coming soon, see far below.) All of these collaboration watches had the mirror image dial. Some time after these resin mirror Campers came out, Timex Japan released a limited edition (1500 pieces) version of the Camper with a steel case, normal dial. The Engineered watch is mostly identical to that, with the exception of the mirror-image dial. The image directly below is that limited edition SST Camper with normal dial.
かつて瞬く間に完売した＜Engineered Garments（エンジニアド ガーメンツ）＞と＜TIMEX（タイメックス）＞のスペシャルウォッチを ＜BEAMS BOY（ビームス ボーイ）＞の誕生20周年を記念して復刻しました！
"ORIGINAL CAMPER"をベースにステンレスケースをドーム型のミネラルガラス風防を搭載した日本企画モデル、通称”SST CAMPER"を採用した今作。 文字盤デザインとロゴをミラー反転させながらも針は通常の時計回りで、＜ENGINEERED GARMENTS＞らしい遊び心溢れるデザインに仕上げた貴重なリストウォッチ。 ボディーカラーに合わせてスペシャル仕様のボックスもご用意しました。
The case is really wonderful. You can see here the solid lug construction. Caseback is also nice, with TIMEX in the center, STAINLESS STEEL, notation of the battery type, and water resistance to 30 meters. There is also stamped 46 N below TIMEX.
Light-activated luminous material at the hour markers, and on all three hands. The light is catching some of the curve of the crystal, at 7, 8, 9 and 9 o'clock. The crystal is nice. Mineral glass, slightly domed in the center, and nicely curved at the periphery.
The watch comes supplied with a black nylon strap signed Engineered Garments on its undersurface. Below is the watch as it comes in its nice presentation box.
Steel buckle signed TIMEX.
Another picture of the dial, a complete mirror image of the Camper dial. Seriously fun and goofy. 1-12 hours at the periphery, and 13-24 hours centrally. Minute/second hash marks, and green triangles every 5. The dial background is black. Not exactly matte, but not that shiny either. Case diameter is 36 mm. The 12 triangles are a robin's egg blue, really lovely.
I want to switch gears for a moment and briefly talk about the Timex watch from which the above dial has been isolated. Here is a link to the watch, probably one of the most rare Timex ever, made only during Feb and March 1982. I had one, but I sold it off some years ago! All I have left are these pictures. In 1964, US military specification "MIL-W-46374" was released, specifying characteristics of a watch that manufactured needed to adhere to, if they wanted to contract with US military to supply that watch type. There were different revisions. This 1982 Timex was based on the "B" revision from 1976. More on the MIL-W-46374 specification at the Wiki page. This specification was for a disposable watch, lower grade yet accurate movement, replacing the 15-jewel movements of an earlier specification. There is considerable additional information at this page.
There has been a lot of speculation about this 1982 Timex. Its rarity suggests it wasn't made in great numbers. Certainly not in the numbers expected with a large military contract. Most people believe that the few watches that were made (maybe two hundred) were "prototypes" that Timex made so that the US military could test them. If the test was "passed," according to these theories, then Timex would be in the running to win the contract, and if won, mass produce the watch. I don't know that anyone can conclude that the watch "failed" the test. It could be that. It could be that a price agreement for a mass production could not be reached. It could be other things, and I think the bottom line is that no one really knows. But what is clear is this watch was made in very small numbers.
Here are the extensive caseback markings on that 1982 Timex. The DISPOSE RAD WASTE is there because the dial used luminous material activiated by tritium (the "H3" sign on the dial opposite the radhaz symbol,) a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and was required to be disposed of properly. But the half life of tritium is 12 years, so by now it is much less radioactive than when it was manufactured.
One more pic, above of the 1982 prototype Timex. Notice that true to the specification, there is no "TIMEX" on the dial. Notice that although there are some differences in font, and other dial features, the Timex Japan Camper dial generally emulates the design of the 1964-specification dial. A drawing of the specification (version F) is reproduced, below.
A few more pictures of the box and papers, and then my final impressions (for now) at the end.
The box material is matte grey cardboard, and has ENGINEERED GARMENTS and TIMEX embossed in mirror-image. There is black elastic band to hold the inner box from sliding out, which will slide open like a box of matches when released. Below is the inner box. The watch straps go through the slots in the card. Underneath the card is a space for the warranty and the user manual.
Close up of the drawing in the inner box. Notice that the dial is not exactly the same as the watch. The watch has WATER RESISTANT on the dial, but the drawing has Timex's famous water wave to indicate water resistant. I suspect they are using the same box created for the 3 resin Campers.
So far I have been enjoying wearing this watch. The strap is comfortable, and the case size could be considered "midrange," works perfect for me.
The mineral crystal is less likely to scratch than acrylic. But if it does, it's not really very easy to get out the scratches, while light and medium scratches on an acrylic crystal can be buffed out with various polishing compounds. I'll be careful.
As far as the crazy mirror-image dial, it does not confuse. Our brain appears to be so well-trained in telling time by hand positions alone, that the wrong-way dial does not seem to be a limitation.
Again, I'm grateful to those who initially made me aware of the existence of this line of watches, and to those who helped me obtain one.
I may add to this page, with future observations and photos. [See below, for three images from a Japanese TIMEX magazine, including information about this watch.]
Thanks for your interest. Alan
beams_ginza 【BEAMS Ginza 2F】
ENGINEERED GARMENTS × TIMEX × BEAMS BOY
<BEAMS BOY> In commemoration of the 20th anniversary, we will reprint the special list watch of <ENGNEERD GARMENTS> and <TIMEX (Timex)> sold out in an instant.
Based on "Original Camper", we adopted a limited model of stainless steel case, mineral glass windshield which was sold out in limited and sold out immediately. It seems strange at first sight that the dial design is mirror reversed, but the needle is the usual clockwise rotation. That is an incomplete design that has been calculated.
<ENGNEERD GARMENTS> Finished in one with a plentiful playfulness.
¥ 20,000 (+ tax)
For inquiries ↓
☎ ︎ 03 - 3567 - 2223 (2 F casual)
Many more images below. The above text, and two watch photos below, are from the 2017 edition of the TIMEX JournaI, a Japanese magazine that comes out I think once a year. The third paragraph from the end discusses this triple collaboration TIMEX x BEAMS BOY x ENGINEERED GARMENTS watch. More pics below that.
Another watch, above, this with a black resin case, will be released toward the end of March, 2018, also by the same collaborations, with reverse dial. Image above is from the Beams Spring & Summer 2018 catalog, describing the watch. Beams is a retailer in Japan, and evidently will be the exclusive stockist of this item. Previously, Spring 2016, the resin mirror-dial Camper came out in green and navy blue. Then in steel. Now in black. Directly below is an image of the 2016 green & navy blue case Camper, the very first Timex x Engineered Garments x Beams collaboration. Image from issue 1 of Timex Journal, 2016.
Below, from the Beams SS18 catalog, announcing the coming black case resin version, and also stating that there will be an associated clothing line called Invert Series, where I assume clothing may be "inverted" or backwards, somehow! Should be interesting to see the associated clothing line.
BTW, if you want to see a very high resolution image of the "face" of the watch, click this link which opens up an image URL from the Beams sales page for this watch. Once the picture opens, make sure to click the (+) button over the image to make it expand to it's greatest size.