Thursday, April 21, 2011

J.Crew + Timex Watch = Tell Me More!

"Thanks!" to Wm who shared the following fascinating article about J.Crew's Timex Military Watch (Item 10884; $150.00) from Hodinkee (click here to read in its entirety, with lots of close up images):
The History of the REAL Timex Military Watch: Plastic, Disposable, And A Product Of The 1980s
April 20, 2011

Something about the J.Crew / Timex military watch never really jived with us. They claimed it was designed after a watch built to military specifications in the 1940s, but we could never actually find that watch. Even when we went into the vault at Timex, we saw watches from the 1940s, but they didn't look anything like the modern interpretation that we see so often on the wrists of the young menswear set. So, we went on a mission to discover where this design came from, and when, if ever, Timex had a military contract to make wristwatches. We found the watch that inspired the J.Crew piece, but we came to realize that it wasn't from the 1940s at all, but rather from the first half of 1982. And the story doesn't end there. ...

...The Timex Mil-Spec W-46374B is totally fascinating timepiece. It was produced for a questionably short period of time to standards that destined it to be a true "throw away" watch. Yet, the one true Timex military watch has reached grail status to those enraptured with the brand, and certainly those who have a proclivity towards American military pieces. It is, also, the true inspiration for the J.Crew / Timex watch, but we suppose the 1940s just sounded a bit more glamorous than "Two months in the early 80s" to the J.Crew marketing folk. Can't blame em' for that.
First, "kudos!" to the writers of that article who gave such an in-depth history on military watches from Timex.

Second, I think it is pretty darn hysterical that J.Crew's expensive Timex watch was inspired by a cheap 1980's design. Not nearly as funny as me paying full price (minus educator discount, which was allowed back in the day) for it. ;) (What can I say, I really love the watch with its simple design and interchangeable straps.)

Third, I can't help but wonder if J.Crew knew about the true origins of their watch's inspiration. Did they think the 1980's had less of a magical feel to it, then the 1940's?

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you like J.Crew's Timex Watch? Own it? Please share! :)


  1. I have 2 watches from the 40s war era that are not Timex but look JUST like it and have seen others that are practically identical. It certainly IS of the era so what the details are don't matter so much to me. I never read that drivel the copywriters concoct to seduce me (a problem as the hem lengths are mingled in there). It is a good-looking watch at a nice price and I love the watch band wardrobe they offer. I have been considering it for awhile as my other vintage numbers are always in the shop.

  2. When I first saw these watches I thought how much they looked like the Hamilton Khaki watches. However, outside of J. Crew, I had never heard about the Timex having produced this model for the army. So I guess that that they copied a Hamilton model (minus the date indicator) and its history. LL Bean sells a very similar and less expensive watch. A made-up history can be annoying. But at the end, if you like it whatever its written about will be irrelevant.

  3. I have the smaller version of this watch (and like 6 different colored watchbands, too) and i love it. it's simple and goes with everything, and i like the nylon strap as opposed to everyone else's metal watches. Don't care all that much about the history really, although the fiction seems unnecessary.

  4. Hahahahaa, so that famous secret mill that holds all the secret archives is....really a shed?

    Well, they lie about couture. They lie about quality. They lie about everything.

    Not. Surprised.

  5. Heads up--Free shipping on ALL ORDERS (no min) with code WARM UP. Yay!

  6. New arrivals, new collection, and free shipping...lots of cute stuff!

  7. OT: It's so nice to see Free Shipping with No Minimum again...not to mention some New Arrivals! :)

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  9. Well, I bought the watch because I liked the look of it and the interchangeable straps, not because of the made up history. It was tough to spend so much $$$ on it, but I really do get compliments on it everytime I wear it. I love, love, love being able to change the straps. BTW, American Eagle watch straps fit the J Crew watch too.

  10. I have this watch and quite like it.

    Is it worth $150? Better question is who's paying? Is an Armani jacket worth $1800 when one for under $100 will last as long and keep you just as warm and not need to be dry cleaned?

    It all depends on who's paying what they feel is worth it.And for the record I'm happy with the watch and the price.

  11. ginastorm is right, and the AE straps are $6.50, B1G1 half off. Plus there is a 20% discount, and free shipping, on EVERYTHING! These straps are excellent quality, and come in gorgeous colors. I also have the 4 variants of the AE military watch. Similar to the JC ones, but (on clearance) only at a tenth of the price.


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