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Timex Expedition Watches - The Forms and Functions of Timex Expedition Watches

features analog digital line

Timex Expedition watches come in four models which range in price from $35 to $225. Keeping with the Timex promise to “keep on ticking,” they are rugged enough for most outdoor activities, including sports, hiking, climbing, and boating. Though capable of withstanding splashes, they are not waterproof and tend to break when submerged.

Expedition watches are comfortable, with options of rubber, canvas, or leather straps. The rubber strap is particularly soft and pliant, while the leather strap gets a little sweatier in exchange for a more elegant look.

The Essential model is a veritable Swiss army knife of time-related features. Its digital display allows for a one hundred hour chronograph, a two-digit lap counter, and a twenty-four hour countdown. The model can be programmed for two time zones, allowing for travel plans or timely global communication. Daily, weekday, weekend, or weekly alarms can be set to put the Essential on par with a cellular phone as a small, portable alarm clock. Additionally, its INDIGLO ® night light allows for nighttime viewing. It comes in six styles, all with digital displays, for $45. For $20-$30 more dollars, a digital compass can be added for outdoor navigation.

The Expedition Classic contains five series of watches. Unlike the Essential, the Classic models are analog rather than digital. They range in price from $35 to $150.

  • Camper ($35-$42): Cheapest among Timex Expedition watches, the Camper is a lightweight, durable model with few features beyond a night light. Its minimalist design insures that users will not need an instruction manual.
  • Trail ($40-$120): More rugged and stylish than the Camper, the Trail series adds date functions and a thicker case. More expensive models include alarm and timer features, though the analog design limits precision and flexibility.
  • Combo ($40-$60): The Combo adds a small digital display in addition to its primary analog hands, allowing for alarms and time settings comparable to the Essential model.
  • Field ($45-$120): Available in men’s and women’s designs, the Field series features stainless steel cases, scratch-resistant glass, and shock-resistance. Though all Timex Expedition watches are sturdy, Field takes durability to the next level.
  • Military ($100-$150): This expensive line claims to be equally suited to cockpits, offices, and backcountry trails. Featuring durability equal to that of the Field and a style reminiscent of heavy duty gauges, it is a memorable but expensive piece. The Military line also includes a tachymeter ring—an analog tool that allows speed to be compared to distance and vice-versa.

The Dive Style lines are attractive, diving computer-inspired watches from $60-$170. The cheaper models are more style than dive, however—consumer reviews of the Dive Casual line suggest that the watch is susceptible to water damage. Actual divers may be better served with an actual diving computer watch rather than a water-resistant, dive style watch. Features include stainless steel or titanium casing, scratch resistant glass, rubber straps, and a night light.

The WS4 line is a highly upgraded version of the Essential, taking the possibilities of digital displays to new heights. An oversized screen provides enough real estate to simultaneously display a great deal of information, ranging from weather forecast, altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, alerts, and chronograph. At $200, it is among the most expensive of Timex Expedition watches, but its functionality makes it an effective tool for intense climbs and other complex outdoor activities.

Lastly, the E-Instruments line is among the most distinctive of Timex Expedition watches. A clever blend of form and function, it is a creative solution to the dilemma of analog vs. digital display. Fans of analog watches enjoy the geometric familiarity of watch hands, but watch-makers looking to offer additional features have had to add date tickers and small date panels to present more information within the analog design. The E-Instruments line uses a “fourth hand” for its additional features, an oversized arrow that corresponds to an outer ring of the watch. This extra hand can be set as a timer or compass, allowing for a more purely analog watch with the added features usually only found in digital. Buyers choose from three additional features when buying an E-Instrument watch: the E-Altimeter, E-Tide Temp Compass, and E-Compass. At $145-$225, it is an expensive but elegant device.

All Expedition watches come with a one-year warranty, so that Timex can deliver on its brand promise of durability. Their “water-resistance” is somewhat overrated, but their blend of features and style makes Timex Expedition watches practical, versatile, and rugged enough for a wide variety of situations.

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