Timex Q Reissue: The Return of the Splendid 1970s GMT Watch

Timex is one of those brands that has been in the horology industry for as long as we remember. This American brand has always catered to the needs of both men and women looking for durable, stylish timepieces at accessible prices. Timex was also behind the existence of the legendary Timex Q watch, which was released in the 1970s as a popular and more budget-friendly alternative to the iconic Rolex GMT-Master II

Given the Timex Q’s success, it is no surprise that the brand chose to bring it back today in the form of the Timex Q Reissue. Bearing classic aesthetics inspired by its predecessors, the Timex Q Reissue continues to be a sleek, affordable option for watch enthusiasts who enjoy vintage looks. But is it worth the hype? Let us take a closer look at everything the Timex Q Reissue has to offer to find out.

First Impressions

Timex Q Reissue on its side

Even at first glance, the Timex Q Reissue has a quintessential vibe that instantly reminds you of the 70s. This timepiece has a neo-vintage aesthetic, with its angular, beveled case and stainless steel bracelet. Like its 1970s predecessor, it also comes with a dark red and blue Pepsi GMT bezel, an innovation first developed by the trailblazing Swiss watchmaker Rolex. The watch’s muted blue dial also contrasts well against the beige hour markers, enhancing the watch’s retro yet classy look.

Anatomy of the Timex Q Reissue

Case and Bezel

front view of Timex Q Reissue 2019 watch

The case of the Timex Q Reissue is both elegant and extremely satisfying to look at, with its cleanly brushed surfaces. Made of stainless steel, this case measures 38mm in diameter and 11.5mm in height, making this quite a slender watch that is very easy to tote around all day. In addition, its sharply beveled edges give the impression of the Timex Q Reissue being even smaller than it really is. As a result, this watch is great for those with small-to-average size wrists and those who simply love wearing slimmer watches.

Like the original Timex Q, this watch has solid hooded lugs, which is quite uncommon in modern watches, further emphasizing this watch’s vintage style. The Timex Q Reissue also inherits the original’s beautiful red-and-blue Pepsi GMT dial, an iconic watch design that makes it even more appealing. This stainless steel bezel is highly scratch-resistant and can be smoothly rotated in both directions. It also comes with silver Arabic numeral indicators that allow you to keep track of a second time zone and blunted teeth-edges so wearers can grip and turn it more easily. Fixed on top of the bezel is a domed acrylic crystal that serves to protect the Timex Q Reissue’s dial.

Dial

The beguiling dial of the Timex Q Reissue shows off a muted navy blue hue, which pairs perfectly with its Pepsi bezel. This dial incorporates a classic, retro-inspired layout, making it a real favorite with vintage watch fans. It has large geometric hour indices and silver-outlined lollipop hands, along with a sizable day-date window located at 3 o’clock.

The hour indices and hands are all coated in beige-white luminous material, giving them a bright green glow in the dark that satisfyingly contrasts its navy blue backdrop. The brand also added a faux patina to the watch to add a bit of nostalgia to the whole piece. On the whole, Timex did a great job re-capturing the same 70s vibe of the original timepiece.

Movement

One thing that might be a little lackluster about the Timex Q Reissue is the movement that powers it. Just like its predecessor, the Timex Q Reissue is equipped with a quartz movement, the Seiko SII Epson PC33. It is a little disappointing that Timex did not see fit to upgrade the movement with the Timex Q’s modern release and this Seiko caliber definitely shows its age. This is a relatively cheap and basic movement, so you have to manually set the day function by moving the hands past midnight instead of having the watch automatically set the date for you. This can be quite a downside for fans who prefer watches that offer greater convenience.

Caseback

case back of Timex Q Reissue 2019 watch

On the underside of the Timex Q Reissue, you can find a caseback that is also remarkably similar to its 1970s version. This screwed-in stainless steel caseback has a brushed finish and provides a water resistance capacity of around 50 meters. It has a very minimalistic, simple look, with just the brand name, reference code, and other such information stamped on the back and no flowery designs or engravings that you might find on other watches.

The small opening on the upper left side of the caseback allows you to change the battery of the Timex Q Reissue on your own. All you have to do is stick a coin into the slot, turn it until it opens and you will be able to change the watch’s battery.

Bracelet/Strap

bracelet of Timex Q Reissue 2019 watch

The Timex Q Reissue comes with a bracelet also made from stainless steel. It adds to the watch’s quintessential look, perfectly complementing its overall design, and feels extremely comfortable on the wrist as well. This strap also has a buckle that keeps the watch firmly secured on your wrist.

Price

Aside from its heritage and classic design, the most exciting part of this Timex Q Reissue is its affordable price. Retailing at just $179 USD, the Timex Q Reissue is quite a value-for-money option.

It should be noted that the Timex Q Reissue was hugely popular and sold out quite rapidly. This has led to its price being marked up slightly on the second-hand market, although this problem has been marginally alleviated by the release of new 2020 models of the Timex Q Reissue. Today, you can probably get the Timex Q Reissue second-hand for under $250 USD. Ultimately, if you are looking for the best, most accessible vintage-inspired timepiece, this is one you should definitely check out.

Brief History of Timex Q Watch

front view of Timex Q Reissue 2019 watch infographics

During the quartz crisis in the 1970s, watch industries all over the world were impacted. Numerous American watchmakers were driven into bankruptcy and were compelled to sell off their brands to various foreign corporations. At that time, only Timex and Bulova continued to operate in America. However, in order to survive the financial difficulties caused by the quartz crisis, these two brands decided to venture out by entering the quartz watch industry themselves. It was this saga that led to Timex launching the very first version of the Timex Q in 1979.

The Timex Q was a very popular and in-demand model, right from the outset. Timex utilized elements that were trendy in the 1970s in the making of this watch, leading to the Timex Q being recognized by many watch enthusiasts worldwide. Some of these elements included the angular-shaped case, the stylish Pepsi bezel, and the mesh bracelet.

As a quartz watch, the Timex Q was far more affordable and accessible than most of its mechanical watch peers. Thanks to its highly recognizable Pepsi bezel, the Timex Q became the go-to alternative for those who wanted but could not afford the Rolex GMT-Master. This association with Rolex’s GMT-Master raised the Timex Q’s profile even further, making this watch a cornerstone in Timex’s history.

2020 Timex Q Reissue Models

front view of Timex Q Reissue 2020 watches (Ref. TW2U60900Z) left, (TW2U61100ZV) center, (TW2U61200) right
Photo from Professional Watches

As previously mentioned, the Timex Q Reissue was a huge hit upon its release and was quickly sold out. In 2020, to accommodate continued demand, Timex launched three new color variations of the sought-after Timex Q Reissue. These three variants share nearly identical specifications as the original Pepsi version of the Timex Q Reissue, including 38mm cases, robust quartz movements, and teeth-edged rotating GMT bezels with bi-color designs. The only difference between the Pepsi Timex Q Reissue and these 2020 models is that their dials and bezels come in different colorways.

The 2020 Timex Q Reissue variations include the Ref. TW2U60900ZV (black dial with a black and green bezel), the Ref. TW2U61100ZV (navy blue dial with an orange and navy blue bezel), and the Ref. TW2U61200 (white dial with a red and navy blue bezel). The price of these versions remains the same, costing around $179 USD each.

Alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue

The Timex Q Reissue is an excellent and very affordable vintage watch with a truly classic design. That said, despite its great qualities and features, not all are that fond of wearing a retro-inspired quartz watch. Whether it is because you prefer mechanical pieces or you want something that looks a little more contemporary, fear not. We have collated a list of some of the best alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue that you should consider checking out.

1. Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 1670 Blue Red

front view of Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 1670 Blue Red watch
Photo from Watchshopping.com

Ever since it was first launched, both the original and modern editions of the Timex Q have been closely linked to the Rolex GMT-Master due to their rather similar appearances. As such, the first option on our list of best Timex Q Reissue alternatives has to be the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710, which is perfect for those seeking a fancier, more prestigious GMT watch.

This Rolex GMT-Master II piece is a classic luxury icon. It comes in a 40mm case and bracelet crafted from the brand’s proprietary Oystersteel material, which is exceptionally resistant to scratches and corrosion. The lustrous silver case and bracelet cast a satisfying contrast against the watch’s jet-black dial, which is adorned with geometric hour markers, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The dial is protected by a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal, which is the hardest watch crystal available. This Rolex watch also features a two-toned Pepsi bezel made out of highly scratch-resistant Cerachrom.

Unlike the Timex Q Reissue, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 is powered by an in-house automatic Caliber 3185. This exquisite, hand-crafted movement has a substantial 50-hour power reserve and comes with a water resistance rating of around 100 meters. You can purchase this Rolex Pepsi watch for around $24,899 USD.

2. Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1

front view of Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 watch
Photo from Watchshopping.com

Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1, commonly known as part of the brand’s Seiko Samurai range. Named as such for its luminous sword-shaped minute hand, this watch stands out with its Pepsi bezel and its textured black dial that bears a subtle pattern of waves. This is quite a big watch, with a 43.8mm stainless steel case paired with a matching three-link steel bracelet. Like other Seiko Prospex watches, it is also equipped with a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, adding an extra layer of protection to the watch face.

Aside from the “samurai” minute hand, the dial of this Seiko watch is also decorated with thick luminous hour indices, an arrow-shaped hour hand, a thin red seconds hand, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is driven by the brand’s automatic 4R35 Caliber which offers a solid 41-hour power reserve. In addition, it has an impressive depth rating of 200 meters, so this watch can easily act as a companion on all your fun water activities, such as diving or water skiing. The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 is priced at approximately $509 USD, which is quite a worthy bargain considering its exceptional features.

3. Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348

front view of Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 watch
Photo from Watchshopping.com

Last but not least, we have the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348, which is another quartz watch packed with excellent features. It boasts a large 44mm stainless steel case, which is complemented by a stylish grey sector dial and a black silicone strap. This Bulova Classic watch also has a two-tone bezel. However, unlike the Timex Q Reissue and the Rolex GMT-Master, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is actually classified as a dive watch. As such, its sophisticated red and grey bezel is actually marked with an elapsed time scale in white indicators instead. The watch face is also protected by a layer of mineral crystal.

The dial of this Bulova watch is also very straightforward, adorned with luminous arrow hands, hour indices, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. As mentioned, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is a quartz watch, so it runs on a powerful quartz movement that offers a 100-meter water resistance capacity. With a price tag of just $249 USD, this Bulova timepiece is closest in price to the Timex Q Reissue while also bearing a more contemporary style. It is the best alternative to the Timex Q Reissue for modern audiences.

Final Thoughts

The Timex Q Reissue watch is an exquisite retro-inspired model that definitely deserves to be on your radar. With excellent features, a memorable design, and an affordable price tag, the only downside to the Timex Q Reissue is really its movement, which could really use a more advanced upgrade. That said, if you are seeking an accessible 70s-inspired timepiece and do not mind the subpar movement, then the Timex Q Reissue is the perfect, nostalgia-inducing choice.

Photos credit to Timex’s official website unless otherwise stated.

Featured image courtesy to u/Kevin-Benjamin on Reddit.

Curious what makes Grand Seiko distinctive from the Seiko watches? Check out our article about The Differences Between Seiko and Grand Seiko Watches.

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