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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As a die-hard G-Shock fan, I wanted to try the dark side and see how I like it. Short answer: The dark side is quite bright.

I’m only just getting acquainted with the watch, the Timex Expedition ($30) model T40941, but there are many fine details that are decidedly different from what we are used to in our Gs.

Photos of my own watch later when I get some good light. Here is the model I talk about:
Amazon.com: Timex Men's T40941 Expedition Classic Digital Chrono Alarm Timer…

I will outline those points that I find better, equal or worse in the Timex as opposed to the G-Shocks I own.

Better

The display wins hands down and tied behind the back. The digits in most Gs are between 5 and 6mm high. Those in the Expedition are 8.2mm high and very easy to read. The display is also extremely crisp, clear and contrasty. No grain in the blank parts. It is at one level with the display of my $300 Seiko SBPG001 that I bought partly because I liked the crispness of the display so much. When you set the time display to 24h mode, there is NO extraneous info on the display as there is in nearly all Gs. Just the day with full date and the time with smaller seconds. Excellent. You can even customize the date format. Nice for us Europeans. ☺ There could be a bit more space between the day letters and the date numbers but that’s nitpicking. But you do see if the alarm is on, or if STW or CDT are running in the background. The little icons for that are clear and unobtrusive.

The bracelet is super comfortable and indeed the entire watch wears like a dream. It is more flexible than the G straps and it can be changed out easily and replaced with whatever strap you like. How about that? Oh, and there is a correctly working compass integrated into one of the two keepers. Nice touch.

The buttons are bigger and easier to push than on most Gs.

There is less tacky writing all over the watch or at least it doesn’t stand out. Obviously this is different from model to model and there are some Gs that are better than others in this category. This Timex is particularly understated in its black and grey color scheme that I find extremely pleasing.

The STW module is better than on most Gs save the specialty ones like 7700, 850, 9010 and so on. You can take 99 lap times and those will be shown together with the total time in two separate lines. You can even choose whether you want the total time in big numbers or the lap time.

The CDT is neat, too. It is a 24h timer and can be set to the SECOND. Sweet. You can also customize whether you want it to stop at the end or repeat. In a $30 watch!

User guidance. There is a user guide built into the watch that tells you what to do. Very smart feature to idiot proof the watch. I like it but wish it could be turned off. OTOH, it doesn’t really get in the way. Well done. And the up and down buttons actually count in the right direction. Why Casio does that wrong is beyond me.

Each alarm can be configured to ring daily, weekdays only or weekends only. The 7700 also has that feature and some others do, too, but the otherwise comparable DW-5600 doesn’t have it. And the 7700 is almost twice the price of this one. All alarms are snooze alarms but there are only three of them. Enough for me. Oh, and the alarms will also flash the backlight. The volume level is comparable to or rather louder than my Gs, even the non-solar ones. The alarm will sound for 20 seconds. Ten slow and ten fast. Snooze time is 5 minutes.

Packaging. The Timex box is really cool. It has an integrated watch holder, a flip lid, a storage compartment for the well-written instructions, and it can be used as a travel case very nicely for this or other watches. It even looks very stylish and serves as a display case in the store. Somebody got promoted for that one. :-!

It lays and packs flat. That's practical if you want to put the watch in your pocket or hang it from clothing. A G-Shock looks strange in a jeans pocket. ;)


Equal

The overall functionality is the same but as we saw above each function is rather luxuriously implemented.

The second time zone is handled differently. There is no world time mode. But you can set an entirely different and independent time zone to the second and with its own date and date configuration. So you could set an American time zone for when you are in the US with AM/PM and MM/DD. And then you could set a T2 for Europe with 24h and DD/MM. That’s what I call custom. This makes up for the lack of world time. A third time zone would be great, though, and there are Timex watches that have three zones. T2 is shown briefly when pushing the upper right button and both zones are switched when that button is held for more than 4 seconds. Good solution, fast and efficient. If it had WT on top of it, I’d be in heaven.

Clasp and caseback. I’d say these are equal in quality and construction to the Gs.

The backlight is different but equal. About as strong but only the digits light up, not the background. Conceptually that is superior. You want to read the time and not the background. It also looks cooler. But for actual readability I find both equal and the G allows you to use it as an emergency torch but only for three seconds. The standard duration with a single button press on the Timex is also three seconds BUT the backlight will stay on if the button is held. There is also a function where any button press will activate the light. This model does not have the Flix function where the light will turn on when you move the arm. On most of my Gs I have that function turned off because it gets on my nerves especially when driving. It is also not as necessary to have it on the Timex because the display is so easy to read even in bad lighting. So, I’d say equal with a slight advantage for Timex.


Worse

The mode switching returns directly to time mode after having used one function. Personally, I don’t really like that. If I want to set all three alarms I have to circle through all modes three times until I can get the third alarm set. Some people will like the direct return; I think I don’t.

Build quality. Here the G wins hands down and tied behind the back. It’s quite obvious so I won’t expound. The Expedition has quite closely the same measures as the GW-M5600 (42x12mm) so there would be room for a better build. It’s also rated to only 100m. The crystal is in fact plastic. I like mineral glass better. But plastic can be easily restored with plastic polish and the lesser mirror effect makes it a bit easier to read at certain angles. The Expedition weighs 40g and the GW-M5600 52g. I also doubt that the Timex is as shock proof because it has no rubber housing. Case fittings between the plastic parts are not as tight as in the G. It looks cheaper (and it is a bit cheaper).

It won’t show the main time in any other mode. Some people really are keen on this feature. I’m not that keen on it but I prefer if a watch has it.

Looks. That one is subjective and I actually totally love the look of this watch and it’s a large reason why I bought it. But overall I must say that the 5600 design is an icon in watch design and not many digital watches even come close. However, this is not an ugly ducky.

Conclusion

As a tough watch and a style icon the G-Shock wins. No doubt. They are collectable. I don’t think I’ll start to collect Timex now.

But I’m tempted to say that as a functional, very comfortable and extremely cheap everyday time tool the Timex wins (at least this one that I’ve tried). I bought mine for $30 at Target. Timex and Amazon show an MSRP of around $45. The cheapest DW-5600 is $32 on the net but MSRP is $69, that's 50% more.

I think especially for older people or people with weak eye sight it is excellent. It will also be good for those want a slimmer, more comfortable fit and a less aggressive appearance. It can even be easily spiffed up on a leather strap. I’m looking forward to seeing how accurate it will be over the next month or so.

Now, I just wonder what other G-Shockers think of the dark side?

PICS!







Till
 
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Not much.

I have a Timex heart rate monitor/wristwatch. That'll be about the extent of it.

I'm one of the old people you were referring to, but I hate the shape of the digits.

Lack of solar and atomic essentially removes Timex from contention. No world time. Don't know. I think I'd go further downstream and get a 15 usd throwaway.

If Casio stops producing watches I might consider Timex, but I think Citizen and Suunto would be more likely stops.

Each to his own. I'd rather save the 30 usd toward my next G.
 

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Nice review, thanks for that :-!.

Is the Dark Side stronger?

No, no, no! Quicker, easier, more seductive!
;-)
 

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Thanks tfar that's a great review, cool watch too. I'd love to get back into Timex, I just haven't been a fan of their more recent designs but this watch looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys! Glad you liked the review. If you got any questions, I'll try to answer them.

I also think there aren't too many attractive models in the range. Some of the analogs are actually among the more palatable ones. But this one is really nice and the price is right, actually it's a screaming bargain. And who doesn't like those? Incidentally, I love grey AND I really like the look of ballistic nylon. The strap of this watch has grey ballistic nylon on it. To me that's almost as appealing as a brunette with a great rack. :) (Ooops, I hope that's OK to say.) So I was immediately drawn to it. Walked by the watch numerous times and checked it out. Finally, I mustered up the courage to go and get it. Strange parallels. ;)

Till
 

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I'm one of the old people you were referring to, but I hate the shape of the digits.
Ditto. I've always wondered about that; Timex digits are taller, which is good, but they're also thinner, which is hardly what I would prefer in a digital watch. I'd prefer the digits on my old 5700C.

tfar said:
Now, I just wonder what other G-Shockers think of the dark side?
Been there twice, albeit on analogs. To put it mildly, it was a complete waste of time and money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think they look thinner in proportion but are the same width in the absolute with the width of each segment also being the same.

I hope it won't be a complete waste of time and money. Obviously, I can't say anything on reliability yet. If the $30 go down the drain, so be it. No big loss. I bought the watch with a CC that offers an extra year of warranty. So that should make two years.

So far I think it's really cool. But I'm also trying to give adequate wrist time to my collection of Gs and non-Gs that has exploded over the past five months concurrent with an implosion of my bank account. :(

Till
 

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I hope it won't be a complete waste of time and money. Obviously, I can't say anything on reliability yet. If the $30 go down the drain, so be it. No big loss. I bought the watch with a CC that offers an extra year of warranty. So that should make two years.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but while the warranty primarily covers the watch mechanism inside (which is fairly reliable TBH), I doubt it's a guarantee in the event of: 1. the strap hinge breaking off from the case, rendering any replacement strap useless, and 2. the emergence of rusty pit marks all over the watch case after a one-time encounter with pool water.

These are exactly what happened to my first two Timexes.
 

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Good review.

I like the functionality of the Timex but the aesthetics do nothing for me I am afraid.

Also they do not have the 'collectability' of G shocks making them just a utilitarian tool and a fairly fragile one at that, given the number of posts I have seen highlighting problems.






Mitch
 

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Many thanks for the review. I read it all before opening the image link, hoping I'd like the looks.

I don't, unfortunately. I'm a fan of big digits like on my Protreks, but the Timex elongated vertically approach just doesn't seem as legible, or "glanceable" quickly. I cannot get on with them. Maybe I'm missing the point.... are they supposed to be like the letters you see painted on roads, so that they appear in proportion when you look at the watch from an angle? Maybe it's so you don't have to tilt your wrist so far towards you.... does that work? Or does the viewing angle not support that theory?
 

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Hi Tfar!

I keep looking at that watch because: Is it only me, or is anyone else blown away by the brilliant idea of putting a small (=robust?) compass on a second keeper? If Timex, or anybody else sold these, I would love to equip all my G-Shocks with these. Does it have lume?

Also, unlike the Ironman watches, it has the Indiglo button in the proper place, that is, the front of the watch, much like our 5 button Gs. Unlike our Gs, however, it is unprotected. Pretty good though, for a beater watch. Plus when you destroy it, you will feel vindicated in your choice of Gs. (Although I have a pre Ironman Triathlon watch from 1983 which i STILL run with. One of the buttons is cracked, and the printing on the outside is almost worn away, but it will not die!)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bogeyman, I'd think that depends on how you present the problem when you send in the watch. The rust spots on a waterproof watch are a no go. Warranty should take care of that. Broken bracelet is another thing. My ten year old neighbor managed to break the bracelet on the hydro'ed G I offered him for his b-day after only two months. Fortunately, it was just the spring bar that popped and not the bad lug that broke. But I've heard that same thing happening to Gs.

Mitch, lack of collectability is exactly what I'm mentioning in my conclusion and that it's a very utilitarian tool. I do wonder if it's really that fragile, though. I see Timex watches on people's hands that are probably twenty years old and look like they've been worn daily.

Maine, your foreshortening theory is a good one. Yes, it works a little this way. Surprisingly, it is also easier to read when you look at it from the small side (the button side). But I suppose that's because of the watch crystal in plastic reflecting less.

I find the elongated numbers highly "glanceable". Just tried it out yesterday when driving. Hand on the wheel, totally dark. Drive with 40mph under a street light for less than a second and I can read the time in half a second very reliably. It take me a tad longer with the Gs and about the same with my Seiko. The analog divers are obviously best for a quick read.

Synch, you can just do a search for watch compass or strap compass. You can buy them as accessories. This one is not lumed but there are lumed ones, too. They are $5-15. I prefer to have the compass on the thumb side of the wrist. Easier to read. But integrating it into the keeper is pretty smart.

Till
 

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I'm not a huge timex fan, but timex crushes casio in the heart rate monitor department.

Also, you don't have to be "old" to have weak/bad eyesight.

In terms of what's new from timex, take a look at the new Global trainer. Timex appears to have won the day with this one. It's a true Ironman, built for the task (click the pic for info). I'm considering one of these for training:

 

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I have about a dozen Timex's... mostly from the Ironman collection. I love them!
 

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I have about a dozen Timex's... mostly from the Ironman collection. I love them!
I've been happy with my Timex's as well. I probably have more than a dozen -- particularly if you throw in the analog divers I've discussed on this forum before and if you consider the "TX line" to be Timex watches.

They don't inspire the same "collector" bug in me that G's do, I gather they don't have much acceptance these days outside the U.S. and they're certainly not as tough as G-Shocks. But I've never had a problem with one -- and any number of my Timex's have lasted for many, many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bump for added pics. :)
 
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