Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Watch Review: Timex Weekender T2N654KW

Timex Weekender T2N654KW with royal blue NATO strap.

It's been just about a week since the Timex Weekender arrived in the mail, so I think I've had enough time to render a verdict:

It's the best $30 watch your money can buy today.

Admittedly, the $30 caveat is a sizable one.  And if you're going for as many functions as you can pack on your wrist, Casio offers digitals with far more features.  But in terms of classic style, versatility, and time-telling performance, it's hard to beat the Weekender.

At 40mm in diameter, it's poised right at the transition point between dressier midsized offerings and the larger sports watches that have gained a popular following in recent years.  The case is stainless steel backed, primarily brass with a chrome coating.  Only time will tell how well it holds up to everyday wear and tear, but I suspect it will gain a nice patina if/when the brass begins to show through.  The standard 20mm lug width means you have a wide array of aftermarket strap options, allowing you to dress up the watch with a black leather band - so accessorized, it wouldn't look out of place under a suit sleeve.  But the Weekender really shines when accompanied by a NATO-style strap.  The navy-with-grey-stripe strap that came with this model is really one of the most versatile I've seen, even as far as aftermarket NATOs go, hedging the line between subdued and sporty the way the stripped "Bond" NATO tends to.  I've opted for a royal blue traditional three-band NATO that I picked up on eBay for $10, which treads more on the sporty side of the equation, but still suits the watch to a T.

Timekeeping has been exactly what you'd expect from a quartz movement, with no noticeable deviation in my week's worth of ownership.  The lack of lume on the dial or watch hands is made irrelevant by the integration of Timex's INDIGLO technology, which uses the same electro-luminescent backlighting you'd find in a digital watch to light up the watch's face when you press the crown.  It's an elegant and interesting solution for a battery-operated analog watch.  The only complication is, as I understand it, endemic to Timex watches: their quartz movements produce a noticeable ticking sound.  It may be a conscious feature, an extension of Timex's "Takes a licking, keeps on ticking" motto.  And I've had vintage mechanical movements that tick louder, and the frequency is once-per-second - which corresponds to the movements of the second hand - so I hardly notice it even in silent environs.  But other owners have been put off by the sound, so if you're sensitive to rhythmic noises or prefer complete silence when you concentrate, this may not be the watch for you.

Otherwise, the Timex Weekender T2N654KW has assumed the role of go-to watch in my watch box, and has fulfilled that role admirably so far.  Definitely worth the meager investment if you're looking for an inexpensive yet versatile analog watch.

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