Wristwatches are one of our favorite gadgets. We have acquired a few of them over the years, but we are always on the lookout to add to the collection. It is not always clear what will catch our eye: maybe the watch has some new and interesting tech, or is made from a cool material, or has a nice design, or has incorporated something novel. Whatever it may be, in order to make the grade, the candidate must have one or more of the following criteria: high quality, some unique feature, great value.
We mentioned the Timex Intelligent Quartz Fly-back Chronograph in the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. The Timex has also been popping up in a few of our photo shoots as a prop. As a result, quite a few sharp-eyed readers have asked when we would give them a detailed review on the watch. Well, today is that day 🙂
Timex is making a series of watches on a technology platform which they have dubbed “Intelligent Quartz.” What is “Intelligent Quartz?” It is marketing-speak. But, it is also an apt description of what Timex is trying to achieve with this watch. This watch is able to tell more than just time, and does it within the design confines of a classic analog dial. It is a “smarter” watch in all senses of the word. An intelligent watch.
Timex accomplished this with the addition of a fourth center hand, independent sub-dials that add advanced functionality, and unique complications to each watch as needed, all driven by the Intelligent Quartz (IQ) technology.
The cool part is that IQ is an open-ended platform for Timex. They will be able to incorporate new technologies, new functions and new ideas as they become available. The Intelligent Quartz technology platform has enabled Timex to offer watches with an intuitive perpetual calendar, tide clock, compass, altimeter, fly-back chronograph, world clock, and thermometer. No, not all on the same watch. Only in combinations which make sense 🙂
We love the clean look of the this Timex Intelligent Quartz Fly-back Chronograph. Around the watch is a non-rotating black bezel with the hour indicators. The watch has a date window and two quarter dials, one at the 10 o’clock and the other at the 5 o’clock position. There are two buttons and a crown on the right side of the watch. The watch comes with a linked stainless steel band secured by a security clasp.
- Time / Date
- 4 Hours Fly-back Chronograph (5 o’clock dial)
- Second time zone (10 o’clock dial)
- Stainless steel case / bracelet with clasp deployment
- Mineral Glass
- Luminant Hands
- Quartz Analog movement
Like most Fly-back chronographs, this unit also has the start/stop button at 2 o’clock and the reset button at 4 o’clock. We have explained the utility of the fly-back function before, but will repeat it here for convenience: instead of having to push multiple buttons or a button multiple times, a fly-back chronograph will reset the second-hand with the push of a single button and restart the timing function. This is especially helpful for timing short-burst events that pilots, doctors, and racers/sprinters like to keep track of. Note that the fly-back function is different than a split-second function, with the latter essentially being a double chronograph.
As frequent readers know by now, we cannot just leave things well enough alone. We are constantly swapping, changing, and replacing things. Watches are one of those things which we feel compelled to “upgrade.” Sometimes because they needed it, other times just to see. Maybe it’s because there are so many options available. Maybe it is because it’s so easy to do. We are not sure, but we do know that we cannot NOT do it!
The same is with this Timex. While we like the stainless steel band that came with the watch, we thought a leather one would give it a look which will complement another recent acquisition. The leather band is from the folks at StrappedForTime. For watch-related accessories, they have been our go-to source for years. We keep going back because they are tops in both selection and service.
We are quite pleased with how the upgrade turned out. The leather band offers a warm contrast to the stainless steel case. However, we thought it needed something more. After some discussion, we decided perhaps adding a stainless steel deployment clasp would complete the package. It was the right call. The elegant clasp (closed, open) completed the transformation and will make an excellent pairing for the Fuji X100S camera. Classic is back!
While the vintage look may be back, the tech behind the gear is modern. Timex’s Intelligent Quartz technology is NOT based on a mechanical analog movement, but a quartz one. As with all quartz movements, the vibrations of a quartz crystal is powered by an energy cell. The advantage of quartz movements is they offer accuracy and consistency unmatched by mechanical means. Watches with Timex Intelligent Quartz technology come with an extra-long life lithium battery. According to Timex, typical wearers can expect the battery to last between four and six years. That is a lot longer than we would have guessed. Time will tell and we intend to find out 🙂