Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
A watch I wanted to love but couldn't read subdials and indiglow didn't light full face like most timex watches
on November 28, 2012
I went back and forth on which flyback to purchase, and ended up with this one which was the wrong call. I wanted to love it, and picked it for a particular style for an event. The watch itself is very flashy and good looking; more than I expected. It sat for a couple of days on my desk till I got used to it, and then I decided it would be ok afterall. Then it turned out that it just took way too much effort to read it. It does emulate some of the big name watches, but it doesn't pull it off in readability. I could never find the right combination of distance, angle, and light to read it without a lot of work, and I really tried. Most times, I don't have time for watch reading to be a lot of work. I need to glance at it and know the time.
The silver hands are hard to make out, and the flyback subdial indicators are really skinny and almost impossible to read. The flyback was cool, and I really liked it in theory, but it was clear to me that I would never be able to actually use it unless i was in perfect conditions and not doing anything else because the indices and pointers were so small/skinny to read while doing ANYTHING else... which is typically when you use a chronometer- when you are timing the something else.
I had been told that the whole face illuminated (it doesn't in this model). The shape of the area that does illuminate essentially cuts off the long part of the minute hand which means in the dark you can't tell the difference between the minute and hour hands without really looking hard at it between the hours of 12-3am and 6-9pm or any time the minute hand is in that part of the dial. I intended to have this be a watch I would use in the evening, and this essentially rendered it useless day or night. (After looking at the other fly back models, it appears you can tell which ones have full illumination and which have the 'bowtie' look like this one. If this will be a problem for you, it can be discerned which is which if you look hard). It's too bad, because this is usually one area Timex is just way better than most of the others.
The other thing is that the design of the bezel negatively impacts the size of the dial. The perpetual calendar model I got was essentially the same size on the outside, but had a bigger more legible dial and pointers on the subdials.
So I think this could have been a great watch, but unfortunately I needed more than a bauble. I believe some of the other fly back models will be more legible, but beware of marketing photos. With reservations, I ordered a Timex IQ Perpetual Calendar, which was much better to read (but no flyback). I'll put up pictures of both. Amazon delivery was the usual high standard. I got slammed for the restock fee for not getting it back under the 30 day window. Ouch. I might have just kept it if I knew I would take that hit, but it either wasn't pointed out to me or I misunderstood, so it is my bad and doesn't impact my watch review. Just don't make the mistake I did of not just returning it right away if you aren't sure. I waited to get the replacement and a clear answer on the illumination, and it cost me. I'll upload some pix which aren't great but give you the idea...
Update many months later: Having now looked at LOTs of other watches, I was probably overly harsh on the legibility of the subdials and chronograph. Many of the others are pretty illegible, too. The indiglow thing was an issue. If I had it to do over w/the restocking hit, I would have kept it. If I could have gone 3.5 stars I would have!