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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent G-Shock Alternative
First, a bit of background info.

About 5 years ago, I went through a major watch phase, trying everything from Seiko 5's to Omega Seamasters. I was 100% focused in on automatics. Then, I happened across a photo of a Citizen Eco-Drive diver (Citizen Men's BN0000-04H Eco-Drive Professional Diver Black Rubber Strap Watch) on a Hirsch Carbon strap that I really...
Published on May 31, 2012 by Dave S.

versus
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice watch but my old ironman was better
I bought this watch to replace a 16-year old ironman triathlon which kept time very precisely, had a remarkably long battery life, and survived thick and thin. I dropped it countless times, and even put it through the laundry once when I forgot it in my pocket. It kept working, even though one of the screws securing the back plate was missing! The last time I dropped...
Published 23 months ago by Aaron Taurog


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent G-Shock Alternative, May 31, 2012
This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
First, a bit of background info.

About 5 years ago, I went through a major watch phase, trying everything from Seiko 5's to Omega Seamasters. I was 100% focused in on automatics. Then, I happened across a photo of a Citizen Eco-Drive diver (Citizen Men's BN0000-04H Eco-Drive Professional Diver Black Rubber Strap Watch) on a Hirsch Carbon strap that I really liked. It was a bit odd getting used to the idea of a quartz watch, even though it was solar powered, but I decided to buy the watch, and that cured my watch lust. It has been my only watch for 5 years now (and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are looking for an accurate, mid-sized analog diver).

Fast forward to now. I find myself regularly traveling outside the US to places without cell service or electricity. This has made me want a watch with two time zones and need one with an alarm. Of course, this meant a digital watch. After I got over my initial revulsion (remember, a quartz watch was a big step for me!), I started looking at digital watches, primarily G-Shocks.

The problem I found was that they were generally quite large, to the point of just being rediculous looking on my smaller wrist. They had overly busy dials and they often times didn't have the functions I wanted, especially on the low end of the price scale.

Again, I happened across a photo of this Timex Shock watch on a forum, and promptly went to Wal-Mart to check it out. I was immediately blown away by the incredibly legible dial, ease of setting ability and how easy it was to switch between timezones. Then I noticed how low the price was!

Timex seems to have succeeded in taking most of the best G-Shock qualities, at least the ones I wanted, and tweaking the things that I found to be lacking. They did this while keeping it under the price point of the lowest priced G I found (the iconic 5600 Casio Men's DW5600E-1V G-Shock Classic Digital Watch).

So in summary, here are the pros and cons as I see them:

Pros:
1) Incredibly legible display - Large digits, good contrast and great viewing angles.
2) Indiglo - The reverse indiglo feature, where just the digits are lit, is brilliant. Helps preserve night vision.
3) Night mode - Helpful when adjusting settings in the dark. I like that it turns off after 8 hours.
4) Ease of Setting - With the "Next," "Done," "+," and "-" prompts when setting, there is no need for a manual.
5) Band - The resin used feels of a higher quality than most Timex's, similar to a G in my opinion. The strap keeper desing is very well thought out, and so far seems to work as designed. The buckle seems of a higher quality than the similarly proced G-Shocks.
6) Size - While bigger than your averaged size watch, I don't feel like I'm wearing a hockey puckon my wrist with this (but see cons below).
7) Ease of Use - The buttons are big and easy to press. They are still shrouded, though, so they are protected from knocks and accidental presses.
8) Alarm - Seems loud enough (but see cons below). I like the "snooze" feature. If you don't press a button during the 20 seconds it is going off, it will automatically go off again in 5 minutes.

Cons:
1) Size - While the diameter is quite nice, especially when compared with a G-Shock, it is still a pretty tall watch. Its not a deal-breaker for me, but something to be aware of.
2) Alarm - It wakes me up, but may be too quite for some. I have little experience with digital watches, other than playing with them in a store, so I have little to compare to. It may be normal, or even louder than others.
3) Ruggedness - I think any quartz watch is an order of magnitude more shock resistant thatn any mechanical, and likely far more tough than anyone would need (unless you are a soldier, perhaps), so I think this watch is even more than tough enough for rough duty. That being said, I think the G-Shocks are a little more robust feeling. This really isn't a con, but thought it may be helpful for someone.
4) Fake Hex Bolts - Now, this is just being nit-picky, but I just don't care for the fake plastic hex-bolt styling. Either make them real bolts, or make it smooth to get rid of some visual clutter (I am a big fan of visual simplicity, especially in a watch).

I think Timex has really nailed this in terms of value. The feature vs. price ratio this watch provides is hard to beat, IMO. You really can't go wrong!

Update: 5/30/13.

Well, one year later and the watch is still going strong. It seems to lose about 2-3 seconds a month, which isn't bad. It has also held up to daily wear, including some abuse, with only one small issue. Last week, I noticed that the lower right fake hex bolt had broken off. I must've hit the watch on something, but don't remember specifically what would have caused it. I have hit the watch against many things for the year I've been wearing it, so it takes awhile to break one off. It doesn't seem to affect the watch, it is still seems water resistant, and nothing is loose. As I suspected it is just a stylistic choice.

I still recommend this watch, as it is still one of the best, easiest to read digital displays available in this price category. Other than this issue, it is still ticking along just fine. I will however lower my review to 4 stars to reflect the hex bolt durability concern.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars g-shock killer?, December 20, 2011
By 
Ben R. (Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I've been a G-Shock fan for a while, but after buying this watch, I am seriously rethinking my loyalties. For the same price or cheaper than an entry-level G-Shock, the Ironman Shock gets you the same basic functionality (stopwatch, countdown timer, light, alarms, 200m WR) and then some (30-lap memory, improved band design, superior legibility, user-friendly guided settings).

Let's break those improvements down a bit:

-The Ironman Shock has a 30-lap memory with its stopwatch, so you can time and review your laps or intervals rather than just your whole run/swim/bike. Want to know if you took that hill faster than you usually do? The Ironman Shock will tell you, a standard G-Shock will not.
-The band includes a notch for the keeper to rest in, so the keeper will not slide around but will do its job and hold the extra strap in place.
-Unlike G-Shocks, there is no excess visual flair (like redundant seconds counters) taking up space on the dial. The digits are large and legible, easy to read at a glance or from an angle.
-With a G-Shock, you either have to constantly refer to the user manual, use trial and error, or simply memorize the correct buttons to push in order to change the settings. The Ironman Shock guides you through any settings changes with blinking "next," "done," "+" and "-" markers to indicate which buttons you should push to do what. No more guesswork!

In addition, the Ironman Shock is a more convenient size than most G-Shocks. It's comparable in size to the DW5600 and significantly smaller than most of the other G-Shock models so you can actually wear it with long sleeves or a coat in winter.

No, the watch isn't solar-powered. It won't do your homework for you, either, even if you ask it very politely. But it's the best bang-for-your-buck sport watch out there. Casio would do well to learn from the user-friendly features that this watch packs, or the G-Shock may soon find itself dethroned.

P.S. I got my Ironman Shock for $35 from Wally World. Good luck finding a G-Shock that cheap.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice watch but my old ironman was better, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I bought this watch to replace a 16-year old ironman triathlon which kept time very precisely, had a remarkably long battery life, and survived thick and thin. I dropped it countless times, and even put it through the laundry once when I forgot it in my pocket. It kept working, even though one of the screws securing the back plate was missing! The last time I dropped it the battery was dislodged. Once I slid the battery back it started working again, but I seemed to have erred in the reassembly because the two front buttons don't work now, which means I can't *set* the watch without disassembling it. It probably would have lasted another 16 years if I hadn't been more careful while trying to service it.

I am hoping the new watch will last at least as long as the old one.

== PROS ==
1. One difference between this and the old watch that I really like is that setting the watch is much easier, as noted by other reviewers. When setting the watch, additional display elements appear which literally guide you through the process. Also the ability to go backwards is especially nice, although I recall my older one let me set the tens digit and the ones digit of the minutes separately, which IMO is at least as good.

2. You can set two different times on this watch and switch between them. The maker calls this a 'second time zone,' although in truth you can set a completely different date as well, which in my case turns out to be very useful.

3. The display is very legible. The LCD contrast is noticeably higher than on my old watch.

== INTERESTING ==
1. The indiglo feature, when viewed in low-light conditions, is light-on-black. It may be slightly more legible in the dark than the old watch, but in normal lighting it makes the display more difficult to read.

2. The indiglo lights up automatically when the alarm sounds, making it possible to read the display in the dark without even pushing a button (apparently timex engineers think people use the watch as an alarm clock, see more below), but as already noted more difficult to read in normal light.

3. There are weekday only/weekend only alarm options.

4. You can choose between MM-DD and DD.MM displays

5. The loose end of the strap clicks in very securely to the sliding loop. It's very snug and getting it in is a little more work than I'm used to, but it's nice to know that it won't be slipping around, which is a problem I've had with other watch bands. (I replaced the band for a different reason, noted below.)

== CONS ==
1. Size. This watch is a monster compared to my old one, and I hesitated before ordering it on account of the size. It is at least 30% wider, almost twice as thick, and quite a bit heavier! I don't understand why anyone would want a watch so large and heavy.

2. The band is molded into a form which curves down around the top of the wrist, so it isn't possible to take the watch off and lay it down flat on a table. That's a common use case for me. Fortunately, I was able to have a different band put on it.

3. Start/stop are two different buttons. This makes using the timer and chronograph features more awkward with this watch than the old one, and I end up fumbling to find the right button to stop it. Not useful at all for timing very short intervals.

4. Automatic 'snooze' alarm. If you don't push a button to stop the alarm *while it is beeping*, it will beep again after five minutes. If you let the watch beep for the full 20 seconds, then the only way to prevent it from beeping again is to turn off the alarm. I consider this an annoyance. I don't always have a hand free to push a button on the watch, and I don't appreciate the fact that it's going to beep again. Snooze might make sense on an alarm clock, but IMO not on a wrist watch.

5. It's difficult to turn the 'chime' feature on/off. Apparently this can only be done while going through the sequence of actually setting the time. On the old watch, turning the chime and the alarm off and on was done with a single button while in 'alarm' mode.

6. The old watch would show the current time in the top half of the display while setting the alarm. This was a particularly handy feature which always impressed me. The new watch doesn't do that.

7. When setting the time, timer, and alarm, there is a noticeable delay during which the next, done, +, - indicators flash but it is not possible to actually do anything. I find this somewhat annoying.

To sum, I'm glad the ironman triathalon watches are still around. I'm happy with this watch. Nonetheless, I liked the older model better. IMO this is another example of the adage 'newer is not necessarily better.'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I am a timex junkie but this one is a dud!, March 18, 2013
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I may have been sent one that made it past quality control.. I am an avid fan of Timex, but this one let me down. Within a workweek, two of the four decorative screws on the bezel fell off and the indiglo function began to work only when it felt like it. For the price you may be better off with an entry level g shock..being a timex guy that's a pain to type. On the plus side it looked good and was comfy. Hence I don't mind having to give it one star. It has been returned to amazon and exchanged for the casio dw5600-e1.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like it, November 26, 2012
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I prefer the design over G-Shock watches. Unfortunately, one of the face plate screws fell out/broke off with light use. Had to send it back to Timex for replacement (cost me shipping and the hassle). This happened to a previous Ironman several years ago as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Runs fast, May 4, 2012
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
Chrono and timer. Dual times. Alarm. The straps are thick and supple, and look and feel durable.

There is only one alarm -- only one time can be set. However, that time can be set to ring daily, on weekends, or on weekdays. I think this quality helps 9-5ers who work weekdays, but not particularly helpful for everyone else. Unfortunately, the alarm sound is too quiet for me; I've yet to be woken up by it. I wouldn't recommend this watch to anyone who would rely on their watch to wake them.

The Indiglo illuminates the numbers, instead of brightening the entire watch face. I think this looks interesting, but I can't use the watch as a mini-flashlight, like I used to do with the typical Indiglo.

Unlike my previous Ironman Triathlon watch from the 90s, this does not have a "Memo" feature at the end, which is actually a plus. I used the memo feature, but it was never necessary. Simple is better.

The buttons have a different layout than what I'm used to.

UPDATE: From 5 stars to 3. I hate being wrong, but I took off 2 stars from this review because the watch runs fast, about a minute a month (a completely intuitive estimation, so take that with a grain of salt). The delay was so pronounced, however, that I decided to use my old Ironman watch with the broken strap (yet it keeps accurate time) and am now looking for a stainless steel strap watch to replace both (since resin straps eventually break).

I learned that I prefer a watch with a low-profile. This watch is very thick, which presents a difficulty when putting on or taking off long sleeve shirts and backpacks. The little plastic that keeps the strap from dangling loose doesn't do a good job of holding the strap in place.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars best watch $40 can buy, May 24, 2014
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
solid housing and wristband. big buttons. cool indiglo light. stopwatch, 2 timezones, timer, alarm. just wish it had 2 alarms like my Expedition that just expired...half the size of a G-Shock and less than half the price....

UPDATE 7/14: Indiglo button stopped working. Back for refund. Good while it lasted. Like a summer romance.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars G Shock except that is legible with easy to use split/lap timer, January 26, 2012
This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I can't believe that this is not a g shock! It is a complete G Shock homeage. It feels like a g shock on my wrist. But it is much more legible then a g, and I can count my laps with it in the pool. I got it from Wally World for $35. Yeah, a G shock might last longer, might have a mineral crystal instead of a plastic one, might look better longer. Whatever. I will wear this non G with pride, and I will be able to count my laps. I wish that it would record more laps than 30, but it can count up to a hundred, and I only do 70-80. I like the resin face plate. 200 M water resistant means I can push the buttons all that I want under water. I always wanted the casio 3 eyed monster, but I hated all of the wasted real estate. This way I get a similar-styled watch without the 3 useless eyes. I will still wear my dw5600, but I see this watch getting more wrist time for a while. The illumination only lights up the numbers, which is kind of a bummer, but I can still see the watch at night. The flip-light night mode doesn't work, big deal. Band is a little stiff (kind of like g shocks) but it will loosen up after some more laps in the pool. I still have to give it five stars for its price, legibility and added functionality over the casios. I will wear it until it dies and then probably buy another one. Timex watches usually look more beat up quicker than g shocks, but this one is black, so it might work out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Watch!, March 5, 2014
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
I don't write that many reviews, unless something really strikes me as warranting it. I thought I should say something about the Timex Ironman.

I use this watch to time my laps in the pool (about 1 1/2 hrs in the water). Then I go into the sauna, then a cold dunk, then back to the sauna, then another cold dunk before the shower so it get's exposed to extreme temperature changes when wet. I've been doing this about 5x a week for the last 3 months. I have it synchronized to the world clock and it's been dead on since I bought it.
I think this thing could even stop a bullet. All for less than 40 bucks? I also bought a Tissot for crazy money which I never wear cause I don't take this one off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Ironman yet..., January 4, 2014
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This review is from: Timex Men's T5K196 "Ironman Classic" Watch with Black Band (Watch)
This is about the 4th or 5th Timex Ironman watch for me (been wearing them for more than 20 years). Overall, this seems to be the one I like the best. It's solid, thick, and maybe a little larger than previous Ironman models I've had. Black on black is perfect on this watch. It has the shock rating that Casio has without all of the nonsense clutter. I hope Timex doesn't cheap-out on these watches since this is about the only decent Timex left. I gave the rating 4 instead of 5 stars for one reason. The design of the tip of the band is a good concept, but poorly executed. It's designed with raised areas to keep the band strap loop from moving. The downside is it makes it extremely difficult to undo the watch. I fear the band strap loop will eventually end up tearing off....
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