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To be honest, Timex's are a PITA to service. The design of them was aimed more at being cheap to manufacture, so certain aspects of the design are tricky to disassemble/reassemble. Once you get the hang of it it's not bad, but when you're starting out it'll lead you to pulling your hair out (and probably destroy a few movements). The advantage is that they're dirt cheap (so finding replacement parts is fairly easy), and they pretty much all the same, so one you get your process down, you can pretty much work on all of 'em. And if you look around on the 'Bay, you can find service documentation (in fact, search this forum; I think someone posted most of one at some point).

The higher-end 21jewel Timex watches were fully jeweled (including the lever pins), so they were pretty durable. And their auto-wind mechanism was one of the simplest you'll ever work on. They tend to rattle though...
 

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Also they have absolutely NO water resistance and will fog up on a humid day, nevermind a rainy day. Don't go near a bathroom or kitchen sink while wearing one.
This is more than just a little exaggeration.

I have approximately two dozen Timex watches ranging from 1957 to 2015 that I wear in regular rotation. The vast majority made before 1980. Not once have any of them done what you state. Not while washing hands, or doing dishes. Not while being outside in 95 degrees with very high humidity and coming in side to an air conditioned environment, and not even while going from 71 degrees and warm to outside and below zero cold.

Do some exhibit the traits you describe? Probably, but certainly not at the level where it warrants warning someone to never take any under such conditions.
 

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Well two things I always make sure I know before bidding is the size of the watch in mm and if it was serviced. I put both in my auctions. It's hard to believe that someone would list a watch on Ebay and not even bother to say if it runs, but folks do!
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and have already picked up a lot of great information. I recently acquired an early-70s Timex Electronic (sorry for the lousy photo), which is running well and which I absolutely love. This is my first Timex. Since I don't know anything about the service history, I'd like to have it cleaned at some point. Does anyone have any recommendations for watchmakers who would be willing to do this work? I've asked a few different watch repairers in my area, and they either don't want to be bothered or told me that these watches were made to be disposable and can't be serviced. Even better if you know of someone in the NYC area. Thank you! timex electronic.jpg
 

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I have dozens of them and everything what concerns the technical development. Timex had made about 1 billion watches between 1950 and 1980, that’s about 135,000 watches every day, calculated on the number of working days in the year. They were reliable, cheap and good work horses. Cheap and good work horses means, that they have been worn and used, the were no collectors items. That is why you don't find so many vintage watches in best shape, despite the large number produced.

Don't go for that 10- to 20- dollar crap, even if the watch is still running. There are mostly beat up and filthy (Of course with many exceptions to that rule). Not seldom, you can see watches of Timex in very good shape at garage sales, often for one dollar or two. At this extremely low price level compared to other vintage watches, add a few dollars, even double or triple the money you want to pay for, and get something good. From time to time you can even find NOS- (new old stock) watches which have not been sold or worn for some reason or have been kept in pristine condition. I have no problem paying 100 dollars plus customs plus shipment for a Timex in mint condition, depending on the model.

Next thing to do, get yourself acquainted with Timex watches. You will find all the technical stages of wrist watches, from pure mechanical, electric - where just the motor with a battery had replaced the power spring, with the rest still mechanical -, electronic (same thing as electric, but with solid state components), Dynabeat (electric with higher vibrational frequency, quartz analogue display, quartz with LED and LCD display. The only thing Timex has skipped was the tuning fork watch, as they did not, like all the others, work under the Bulova license. Then you have no date, date, date and weekday. Electric and electronic watches are however difficult, if at all serviceable, and the cost, compared to the value of the watch, is never justifiable, if you are not dealing with a family heirloom.

The movements are very simple and usually not worth a repair. The watch had been simply thrown away when there was a defect. You still find many movements on the market and there were not so many different models.
You can also get cult-watches like the model the Blues Brothers were wearing etc.

So, summing up my recommendations:

1. Get yourself acquainted with the vintage Timex models. Timex has a very good number system on the dial, allowing you to immediately date the watch, no guessing around.

2. Select certain watches, like electric or electronic for example. They are highly interesting from a technical point of view and most watch collectors, especially the younger ones, never heard of them and the others often don’t know what kind of animal they exactly are or what the difference is between electric and electronic.

3. Don’t go for trash, they are cheap enough. One good Timex in good condition is worth more than a pile of beaten up specimens, and they get – no they must get – ever rarer, although they will never be a collectors dream.

4. Look for original Timex ads from the time period, perhaps showing your watch. There are many around and can complete your collection, like Timex display stands, boxes etc., all available for a song.

Last, but not least: Timex watches have been made all over the world. At the beginning of the electric watches, Timex had bought the German company Laco because of the technical know how they had in this field. You find them with Laco on the dial and later with Timex made in Germany. I have some watches made in Scotland. The plant had to be closed by Timex because of a very violent and long lasting strike, never again matched in this magnitude in the UK- Braveheart at the picket line.

Below: movement electric and electronic, watch and ad Timex Electronic 1971 by Laco
 

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I've been hunting eBay lately for vintage automatic Timex watches. They are usually very cheap and there's a wide variety of interesting styles. I'd definitely recommend collecting a few for anyone wanting to dip toes into the watch collecting world but not wanting to jump in with really expensive watches.

Recently I came across a late 70s military style automatic I liked and finally found a very pristine condition and working example. Only $40! I still need to get a nice matching color NATO but the watch is beautiful I think. So much more character than a replica "vintage-style" quartz Timex that you can buy new.
 

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Regarding your Timex backset with the linen dial..

Years ago I sold one like it to a guy who said his father was Richard Arbib, the man who designed the Hamilton Ventura and many other Hamilton electric watches. He wanted the watch because he said his father also designed that specific backset Timex! The next time I found one in nice shape I decided to keep it!
oldbackset3.jpg

And here is a link to other futuristic designs by Richard Arbib:
https://www.pinterest.com/Kmdesignco/richard-arbib-industrial-designer/
 

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That will be a lucky day today: I wanted to see if I also have a watch with a linen dial designed by Richard Arbib and guess what? I already found one in the fourth Timex-box I opened!

Might as well get a wristband now and also one for the Q-Quarz next to it which has that ugly NATO strap as an interim solution. For the ones who don’t know: The Q-Quartz was still an hybrid mechanical-electric watch, but already controlled by a quartz, a bridge-bridge technology so to speak.

And what makes the day even better: I only have to fiddle one day forward on the TIMEX to have the correct date. It is always good to start with the day before (going forward manually), so you can make sure you are correct with am and pm.
 

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I agree entirely with this comment, Timex movements are extremely robust and $5 spares and repair watches on ebay can in most cases be cleaned up and given a quick service and if the dial is reasonable will look good. There are service manuals out there, they come up on ebay regularly, but for mechanicals all you have to learn is servicing the 24 movement, the rest are so very similar. Basically oiling the pins at the escape wheel and the visible pivots in the back plate will get most watches running well, if not either the mainspring is worn or the dial needs taken off and the watch soaked in e.g. lighter fuel and all points oiled - rarely necessary in my experience, I have hundreds bought at an average cost of $14.

Electric watches are also simplicity themselves following the service manuals, you only have to remove the shunt bridge and balance and give them a soak and check the alignment of the contact spring then reassemble and oil. Servicing these watches is a great way into watch repair.
Quartz are a different proposition.

Does anyone out there have instructions for the 43,44,55,56 series of jump minute watches?
 

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Definitely a PITA so service so don't pay much for 1 unless you personally know how to service 1. But they are fun & I got a guy who services them for a decent price.







 

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