Customer Review

35 of 36 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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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 20, 2014 6:58:38 AM PDT
Bahoover says:
Good review. I agree with the comments on the fake hex bolts. I solved the problem one night by going down to my workshop (I had been drinking a bit) and used my Bosch Palm sander and sanded them flat. Well, it sure looks battle-tested now!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2014 10:02:31 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 28, 2014 10:02:53 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2014 10:04:04 PM PST
Kot says:
I have bought this model twice and both time a watch would lose a bold in a year :)

I just switched to a newer model T5K8229J and love it: easier to read and press, louder alarm, etc. You can find my review here:

Timex Men's T5K8229J "Ironman Classic 30" Resin Running Watch

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 7:58:56 AM PST
cactus says:
you're not being nit-picky about the fake hex bolts. it makes an otherwise serious looking watch look like a toy.
if they were to change the fake bolts and install a 10 year battery, it would be tons better, even though i really like these watches.
thanks for the review and the pics.
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