TIMEX Japan Ivory Camper, December 2017
Hi. This is Alan (contact: email). Here is a really stunning looking ivory dial Camper from the impressive "TIMEX design house" that is TIMEX Japan. It was released in Japan on December 13th, 2017, retailed for 8,300 yen, and was released along with two over ivory Campers, one with black case, and another with green case, each with different bands. Then in Februrary 2018, a blue case ivory Camper with a blue strap was released. More on this below. NEW: See far below, pics of this watch with a vintage striped strap! It's a very interesting version of the Camper series, which in its present version began as a green, resin-cased quartz "Original Camper" base model, released in November 2015, initially by TIMEX Japan. Since then, there have been several variant Camper versions, including some with a steel case, and ones with black resin, and blue resin cases. Many of these Camper variants involved collaborations with other enterprises. (All reviewed here!) The most exceptional of these, in my opinion, are the "reverse-dial" Camper collaboration TIMEX x Engineered Garments x BEAMS / BEAMS BOY, in four case colors: green, blue, stainless steel, and black. The first green Camper in 2015 was an extremely faithful reprint of the early Camper, the 1980s-1990s mechanical green case Camper, (which itself was based on a US military-specification prototype TIMEX watch from 1981-1982.)
Like the 2015 Camper re-issue, and like all other of the variant and/or collaboration Campers, this ivory dial watch is in a 36 mm classic Camper shape case, and has a dial layout and markings identical to the 2015 re-issue (except for having WATER RESISTANT instead of the wave symbol.)
But aside from the layout, the dial colors are quite a departure from that, with a lovely even ivory color to the dial background, along with greenish (instead of white) color to the luminous triangles. There is luminous material in all three hands. The second hand, instead of white, is a brilliant red! Instead of white minutes / hour hands, they are black. Excellent contrast...
Then, to continue the color variation in a most delightful way, the case is navy blue, and the strap is a brilliant reddish color, not quite fire-engine red, maybe a little bit of pink, but not much. The resulting complementary contrasts makes for a really stunning appearance, to me.
(Most of the photos on this page are of my own watch, taken by myself, except the ones which are from promo and sales pages at Japanese websites, and where otherwise indicated.)
Single piece strap pulls through the solid lugs of the Camper. Steel metal buckle, in black. A loop "stay" keeps the free end from snagging on things, and is a very helpful addition. NEW: See below, pics of watch with vintage striped strap!
From Japan websites, there is indication that this ivory Camper is in some ways a re-creation of a slightly smaller 34 mm case watch from the 1990s. This '90s watch also had a different shape. There is also indication that its creation was meant to simultaneously maintain a sort of "military-style" feel, while also mitigating a more dominant military feeling of, say, the green case classic Camper. I have copied the text directly, further below the pic, and feel free to run the text in your translator of choice, and see what you interpret. This text also indicates that this mitigation of a dominant military feel may make the watch more appealing to women, than the green Camper, but that it believes the watch would be suitable for anyone. (I'll note that on numerous Instagram feeds, I've seem women wearing the more "military feeling" Campers, so there certainly is a subset of women who like the original style as well; the ivory Camper line will probably only broaden that appeal to attract more people, both men and women.)
Box sticker with all the usual product details. Another part of the box, below, including some information about reducing environmental impact.
タイメックス（TIMEX）のユニセックス時計Original Camper Japan Exclusive【TW2R78100】。本モデルは、1990年にオリジナルのキャンパーの後継として四半世紀に渡り販売され、惜しまれつつも最近メーカー廃番となった34mm径キャンパー（T18581/T41711）をベースにしたアイボリーダイアルを、新たに同じく日本企画の「オリジナルキャンパー」で再現したニューモデル。もともとキャンパーのアイボリーダイアルは、“ミリタリーウォッチのオリジナルの良さを残しつつ、ミリタリー要素をもう少し和らげ、現代のスタイルに合わせやすい仕様にできないか”というユーザーの需要に応えて日本チームが考えたものだった。いくつかのアイデアが試されたあと、「汎用性が高くて誰にでも似合う」というブランドの方向性と合致するアイボリーのデザインが採用された。前作34mm径のアイボリーキャンパーは、女性誌スタイリストや編集者にも支持を広げ、それまでの主要ファン層であった男性ユーザー以外に多くの女性ユーザーも獲得。[型番:TW2R78100]■性別 ： ・ユニセックス■素材 ： ・レジン ・ベルト：ナイロン ・ガラス：ミネラル■機能 ：・電池式（クオーツ式） ・アナログ ・3気圧防水 ・50g以下 ・ナイロンベルト
The text of several sales sites, which all had identical copy.
It really was a great idea to make the dial ivory color, instead of white. To me, the ivory makes all the difference.
A fourth ivory Camper came out in February 2018, about three months after the original three. I like how one of the promo pics show all four watches in the background of jeans. Gives this a more fun and casual, and less "serious" feeling.
Not my watch, but photo from a sales site, showing the original retail tag. 8,300 yen retail.
Above is a promo for a store called TicTAC. This is a promo for the Narita Airport store, offering a 10% discount for students and social workers. "TiCTAC's Student Discount for students living in Japan and for new social workers!!" (Link) In fact, TicTAC seems to be promoting this watch for springtime. At the writing of this review, several TicTAC stores are encouraging the line of the four watches, for spring. (link, link, link). Couple of fun pics from those TicTAC links. Take a look at the above movement. It is from a different watch, the blue version of the collaboration "reverse-dial" Camper from TIMEX x Engineered Garments x BEAMS (the watch pictured below, on left). It is the Y121E caliber from "S.Epson," which is essentially a Seiko quartz movement. Notice that the 2016 watch has ORIGIN CHINA engraved on the back, while this more recent ivory dial watch on the right (Dec. 2017) has MOVEMENT JAPAN. There was also a removable sticker on the ivory dial Camper that said MVT JAPAN ASSEMBLED IN PHILIPPINES. I am assuming that ORIGIN CHINA means that it was assembled in China, with the above pictured Japanese (Seiko) movement.
TIMEX almost certainly must make their own movements, for the millions of watches they must make and sell worldwide every year; maybe they do buy a certain percentage of their movements from suppliers. But anyway, I think it's pretty cool that in these Japan-exclusive TIMEX watches, they source a Japan-made movement, from none other than the mighty Seiko.
I really love this watch. In general, I am a big fan of the Camper, both the original mechanical ones from the 80s/90s, as well the more modern quartz reprints, which began with a project TIMEX Japan initiated in 2015. But there is a feeling and look about this one that to me is really outstanding, and that of course is the putting together of the colors. I'm neither an artist, nor well-versed in "color theory," but I'll bet if someone who was were to assess the overall look of this watch, they would find coherence. I certainly find a kind of coherency. Again, it would have been easy to just choose a pure white dial; the choice of an ivory dial makes everything work. [NEW: Don't miss pics far below of this watch with a vintage 16 mm stripey nylon strap. I think it looks good. I don't mind the 16 mm.]
Thanks for reading this review. I hope that you will like it.