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Showcase cover image for A Couple Timex Chronographs: Not Your Standard 0S10

General Information

Model
Unknown
Year
1999-2000
Size
<40mm
Display
Vertical 3-eye 60-minute chronos with decimal seconds
Band
Leather buckle strap
SO MOST TIMEX FANS who have been around long enough to remember “Y2K” and, for whatever reason, pay attention to watches with multiple dials, have heard of the “SR927W” watches by Timex. They’re collected mainly now as a niche viva la difference timepiece that pays homage to the British military watches copied by other budget names (the Pulsar PM3129X1 is a 42mm version of the original RAF chrono) which lack all of the bells and whistles of a fancier fashion watch. In these watches, the attraction is the functionality and simplicity, not the look.

Timex released MANY cookie cutter versions of these, ranging from black dials with indices to iridescent purple to yellow and even the legendary Potenza promotion set, complete with custom embossed patent leather bands. Most of these featured the mass-produced Miyota 0S10-10A, a 12-hour Chronograph that featured a center chrono-seconds hand and no sub-second timer. You can get this movement in just about every flavor outside of Timex as well, save for probably Seiko (Miyota is part of the Citizen family, after all). But Seiko has a few of their own common movements, and occasionally you can find one in a Timex.


One of the less common variants of the aforementioned watch is this 60-minute chronograph, featuring a Time Module Inc. (TMI) VD57B. The first thing you’ll notice when you flip it over to see when it was made (this model is from August 1999) is that it uses an SR920W battery. This slightly smaller battery is one clue you don’t have a typical early Timex. The Seiko-owned caliber is unique in that it features a running center-seconds hand, a welcome change for those who are used to three-handers. Like the 0S10, this particular variant of the VD57B has its date wheel indexed for 3:00 (TMI does not offer a different indexed variant in their Rev C at this time) and, to make room for their logo, Timex moved the window to just slightly past 4:00. The next thing you will see straight away when you realize it’s not the same as every other chrono is the odd subdial at 12:00. This is a 1/10th second chrono hand, which runs at 30 RPM for the first minute, before holding at 0 until the chrono is stopped. It then reports to the nearest 1/10th second when stopped. The caliber comes in at a smaller 12-3/4''', just slightly smaller than the 13-1/2''' of the Miyota.

Another subtle giveaway of this model is the pips. Even though this caliber is smaller, the date window is pushed out further, preventing one of the luminescent dots from being placed at 4:00 like the other 0S10 models with numeric indices. These models are not extremely rare, but they can be tricky to find if you’re interested. At the time of this writing, a seller has a purple dial model, complete with bracelet and numberless indices, with this VD57… but it’s in Bulgaria. Good luck with that.



And then there’s this oddball.

Flip it over, and sure enough, it’s another SR927W, but wait, what is with the seconds? Surely this is another Miyota, with the 12-hour chrono again, but the seconds… are they at the top? Nope, those are minutes. Seconds are at the bottom, where you would expect to find them. Except this counts 1/20th of a second, at the bottom… in the seconds bit.

The Miyota 0S60 is a strange one. Similar to the VD57, it counts running decimal seconds… at 60 RPM. And only for thirty seconds. Then you stop the chrono, it reports your fraction. Keep in mind that the center-seconds here are for the chronograph. Oh, and there’s a MODE for the chronograph: you press the B-pusher first, and watch the running seconds return to 0 before starting. Believe me, it can be a tad confusing if you forget.

Surely this isn’t news to some of you Citizen fans out there, and it may be more popular than I know. But this watch itself is pretty unique for a Timex. The case itself reminds me of a Seiko, despite its Miyota engine. The cardinal bezel rotates easily. The numbers themselves are luminescent. The nickel hands are dang near impossible to see, and who designed the color scheme? This like-new sample was made in August 2000, and the strap is original. Oddly enough, the only other version I have seen on the internet was from June 1998 and featured a red strap like this one. And yes, it is wider than the 18mm lug width of the more common models, but it’s only 19mm, not the more common 20mm seen on half of the Timex watches out there these days. Try finding a red Rally strap for that! (I did… and it’s coming in from the Netherlands.)

If you guys and gals find anything like these, please let me know in the comments. I’m trying like crazy to document every Timex chronograph that features a third-party caliber. No idea what the numbers are for these, but if you’ve got a catalog PLEASE let me know! And tell me what you think. Are these ever going to be valuable? Are they really hen’s teeth or does everyone but me have a drawer full of broken ones?


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Comments

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Very cool write up, thanks for sharing.

I think @TheBearded or @theretroshave might have a bunch of info on model #s for these. (Sorry if it's neither of them)

Also, did you know, besides the Potenza Promo watch, there is also a Salem cigarette branded one as well? I saw it a few months back on eBay, and passed it up as I was unsure if it was the center chronograph model or a center running seconds model. (Don't desire a center running seconds)
 

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Very cool write up, thanks for sharing.

I think @TheBearded or @theretroshave might have a bunch of info on model #s for these. (Sorry if it's neither of them)

Also, did you know, besides the Potenza Promo watch, there is also a Salem cigarette branded one as well? I saw it a few months back on eBay, and passed it up as I was unsure if it was the center chronograph model or a center running seconds model. (Don't desire a center running seconds)
View attachment 16672254
Yes, I saw that one, pretty nice. It is MOST LIKELY another Miyota 0S10, based on the 12-hour 9:00 and 60-second 6:00 bits. The 0S10 is the most common variation, and I’ve seen them as early as 1999 and as late as 2004 (used in different cases).

Bearded and Retroshave have very extensive collections of models not common in the U.S. and I think most of them are 0S10. I am also looking at the Suntory Whiskey Timex promo… crazy design, a great addition for any promo collector.
 
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