Timex Archive Mk1 Mechanical 36 mm in steel.
The first mechanical Timex "Camper" watch since the 1990s.
Hi, this is Alan. As always, thanks for reading and for your interest in these watches. My contact information is below.
This is a special Timex. It is the first mechanical watch in the long line of Timex Camper/Mk1 since the 1990s. The watch was first announced on the Instagram of the Giorgio Galli Design Lab, to great excitement and anticipation. As of this writing on 10 July 2020, the watch is not yet available, release date unknown. For a very brief time, I had two of these in hand, see far below, for that nice story.
Case: 36 mm steel
Crystal: domed acrylic
Movement: hand-wound, mechanical, hacking seconds
Strap: custom 2-color with quick-release springbars
Date code: 71
Manufactured: November 2019
(More later on why I love this so much.)
It may be hard to convey in these pictures, but the dial is not brown, not exactly olive, but a really beautiful "mossy greenish brown" color that I find quite pleasing. Some pics showing this better, below. Appearance varies by lighting. Have a sneak peak at one such pic here.
I like the caseback engravings. The Earth with longitude and latitude lines, and a view of he North Pole is pretty cool. For a global company, this is a good logo. Boldly across the middle (obliterating Canada and parts of Alaska, haha) is DESIGNED & ENGINEERED by TIMEX, which I'm not sure I've seen before. Certainly I don't own any Timex that have this. Model no. TW2U69000, or TW2U69000LG. Date code 71 indicates that this watch was made in November 2019. I am still trying to work out what is MOOF.
Two-piece strap, with steel buckle signed TIMEX. The strap is a medium-level brown,and the center stripe is light grey. Sometimes this stripe can look light bluish to the eye, but I believe that is visual phenomenon
The hands are grey, and almost look like they are enamel. Luminous areas on all three hands, which are of the standard shape for the Camper/Mk1 series. Note that the typeface for the numerals is not the same as for the Original Camper, but that a serif typeface has been chosen. For example, see the 3. A look at the luminous dial is below, and at this link.
So, let's now talk about MECHANICAL, stamped prominently on the dial towards the bottom. Have you ever seen this on a watch dial? I have not, and this could actually be a first! Because, let's be real, there was a stretch of time—a very long time—when all watches were mechanical. There was no other option. It made no sense to say MECHANICAL on the dial. It was redundant, unnecessary. It would be like an automobile from 1963 proclaiming that it is MOTORIZED, or a light bulb that said ELECTRIFIED.
But in the long tradition of proclaiming on the dial what at the time was considered special (think WATERPROOF, SHOCKPROOF, ANTIMAGNETIC, QUARTZ, ELECTRIC, AUTOMATIC, and so many more,) in the year 2020, when quartz watches have for so long been dominant, the fact that the watch is mechanical is indeed worthy of proclaiming. Of course there are many other mechanical watches made by many brands nowdays, but that Timex chose to proclaim MECHANICAL on the dial is, to me, a wonderful and intentional thing. I really appreciate it.
Strap has quick-release springbars.
The crown is good. Larger, easier to grip, it fits well with the military heritage and aesthetic of the Mk1/Camper line of watches. It was a pleasure to wind this watch.
Another close-up of the dial, showing the nice, grey hands.
I really do like the caseback. Sure, you don't see the back when you're wearing a watch. But like the box, the paperwork and even the way a watch is promoted and marketed, I'm begging to appreciate the "ancillary" properties of a watch, those that are beyond the dial, hands, case and strap. This includes a nice caseback. The engraving is of high quality, and the design is coherent and pleasing. You can really tell they were proud of this watch.
The above pic is another good look at the substantial crown.
This watch is part of of the Timex ARCHIVE SERIES, "Watches inspired by our heritage."
Above pic is also a nice look at the greenish luminous dots.
The ARCHIVE Mk1 MECHANICAL is the third hand-wound mechanical Timex since (and inclusive of) the 2017 Marlin. I think it's a real winner, and is sure to be popular among fans of Timex, and of military-style watches in general. It builds upon the revival of the "Original Camper" by Timex Japan in 2015, a project that brought back the legendary 1980s-1990s Camper Watch, in quartz form. Since then, that base model has led to countless variations in both the original 36 mm, but also in 40 mm, with numerous models in resin/plastic, steel, and aluminum. This marks the first mechanical watch in that range, and I'm really happy that, like the original, it is hand-wound. Would I have wanted it to have fixed-lugs like the SST Campers? Would I have liked a mineral glass crystal? Maybe. But I find those to be minor, when considering the entirety of this watch.
It has been the wish of many to have a mechanical watch in the MK1/Camper Watch family, and this truly delivers. It is a beautifully-designed watch, appears well-made, and is a landmark addition to the history of this line.
Thank you for reading.
I hope you will like it.
Above, showing the light-activated luminous material on the dial and hands.
Above is a pic taken while shining a bright white light, obliquely on the dial. The dial won't ever look like this in ordinary lighting, but I wanted to show that the base color is a nice "greenish bronze" color, really lovely. It is kind of a radical choice for a watch with military heritage, a departure from the standard matte black dials.
Above and below, pics with more subdued lighting coming in from the side. (The ring-like shading differences are due to the crystal interacting with the light at its edge.)
Here now are some pictures of the box and presentation. Yes, the box does not tell time, and you don't wear it on your wrist. But it's a pleasure nonetheless to receive a watch in such nice a presentation. The box has a white paper sleeve that slides out to reveal the inner box that opens like a book. Cover is grey fabric, and the cover is secured by a white and red elasticated band. The color choices and overall design are very pleasing. TIMEX ARCHIVE written on the outer and inner box.
Opening up the front cover of the box, there is a dark grey folder or "booklet" inside that holds the paperwork.
Small instructions booklet.
In with the papers was a note from the TIMEX CEO.
Sticker on the back of the box. Model here is listed as TW2U69000LG. On the back of the watch is engraved TW2U69000.
Why are there two of these watches. Well, for a brief period fo time, maybe 24 hours, I had two of these in my possession, one of which wasn't mine. I received mine on July 9th, 2020. But one week earlier I received a surprise package in the mail from my friend @Heritagetimex, who sent me his copy of this watch, so that I could check it out for a while. What a nice surprise, and really thoughtful. As soon as I received my copy, I sent his back to Atlanta.
All the below, from the Timex sales site.