Top critical review
132 people found this helpful
great timers and value, cheap appearance
on December 20, 2011
Timex Men's T498549J Rugged Digital Vibration Alarm Watch
1. Flexible countdown timer up to 23h: 59m (can be set to stop or repeat at the end)
2. Flexibility of alarm modes (vibration, beep, and combo)
3. 99 laps. (Great for running.)
4. Hydration timer for repeated reminder up to 60min.
5. Normal lugs accept 22mm milspec nylon straps.
6. Large display and numbers
7. Clear EL light
8. No warning alarm before the target time during countdown timer.
1. Hourly signal can only be set to beeping and no vibration.
2. Cheap looking body design, material and color.
3. The glass easy to scratch. (The glass surface and the bezel are on the same height)
4. Somewhat unintuitive menu navigation
5. Occasion reminder is very limited
6. EL light hard to read from angle
7. No world time (only three time zones)
8. Pretentious bezel with useless cardinal direction markings.
I have been using another vibration alarm watch for 6 years or so (Casio Men's G-Shock Watch G7510-1V). I was mostly happy with it but I recently bought Timex T498549. I think this Timex is far superior in flexibility in various timer modes than Casio. This watch is great for reminder, sport drills, running, meditation, yoga etc.
Unlike my Casio, the count down timer does not have warning alarm and alarm sets off only once on the target time. I really like this because the warning alarm can be confusing and distracting.
On the con side, one thing they missed the mark is that hourly signal that cannot be set to vibration mode which is baffling to me. I usually able to figure out using this kind of watch without a help of manual but it took me for a while to figure out how to set the alarm to vibration mode. In fact there is no mention how to set it in the manual.
This is how you set it. Hold down SET button > hit Mode button to cycle through time, date, year setting > when ALRT is displayed hit either of two right side buttons to set to either TONE, VIBE, or COMBO > hit SET and you are good to go. This is very unintuitive because when you want to change the alarm mode you have to jump through the time/date setting. My G-shock has a dedicated button and it's a snap to change the alarm mode between beep and vibration.
I did not care much about the strap this watch came with and swap to a 22mm woven nylon Maratac milspec strap from countycomm.com(excellent strap by the way.) This combination is very comfortable to wear unlike my Casio G-shock. When I bought G-shock G7510 it was around $45 and now it's over $80 on Amazon for the same watch which is ridiculous. Because of the great timers modes and the price I recommend this Timex over G-shock if you don't care about how cheap this watch looks. (Once a homeless woman asked me if I would give her my brand new watch. She thought it was a very cheap watch and I wouldn't mind giving it away.) I wish this watch came in all black. The fake pretentious metallic paint on plastic body makes the watch looks even cheaper.
Occasion reminder is limited and for me it's not usable. I hoped that I could set my own reminder categories but you can only select from these; ANNIV, APPT, B DAY, BILL, BILL.MO, BILL.YR, DOCTOR, GAME, GIFT, HOLI, HOLI.YR, MULTI, OTHER, SHOW, TRIP, -NONE-
I wasn't sure what they meant by Hydration timer. It is essentially another count down timer up to 59 minutes. Unlike the other count down timer, it cannot be set to seconds. Also it repeats itself endlessly until you hit a button.
Each timer, alarms have different beep tones. But if you set to vibrate, it will vibrate the same way.
If you a kind of person who can sleep with a watch on your wrist and a light sleeper, combo alarm mode could be your alarm clock. Combo alarm mode vibrates first so that you can wake up without waking up anyone else. When vibration fails to wake you up the beep alarm sets off.
This watch may not be as durable as G-shock but now this is my main everyday watch and my G-shock has to wait in the drawer until this watch breaks down.
-----Update April, 2012----
I painted the body of the watch with a black sharpie just to see how it would look like. It looks so sharp in all black! (sorry for the pun) I wish they made all black version. It's got some scratches on the glass already but I have been liking this watch more and more.
However, recently this watch started behaving strangely. It spontaneously resets itself back to the factory default and erases all my time and alarm settings. This happened twice already this month. I read other reviewer mentioned the same problem. I still like this watch as a stopwatch and vibration countdown timer, but I have to say this Timex is unreliable as a watch and have to give one star for that :(
-----Update May 9th, 2012----
The resetting problem still persists. It happened three or four times last month and once already this month. The watch suddenly vibrates short period of time and resets itself to 2007, Dec 1st, 12:00AM. It happens when I am not touching any buttons. There is still plenty of battery power left since EL light lights very bright.
What kind of digital watch you have to reprogram every week? This is not a hand winding watch. Now I will never carry this watch without my cell phone so that I can reprogram the time as soon as the watch resets itself. Bummer.
----- Update, Aug 2013 -----
I returned the watch thanks to the REI 's excellent return policy and bought the same model again. The new unit has been running fine for almost a year and no resetting issue. My old Casio has been back in the drawer for a while.