Ah, Timex. With their ubiquitous line of Weekenders, perhaps no company takes up more space on retailers’ watch shelves than this tried and true brand. But as popular as the Weekender may be, we feel that, if you look maybe a shelf or two higher, you’ll find an even better option.
Meet (if you haven’t already), the Timex Expedition Scout. Available in nearly as many color and band combinations as its more popular cousin, this take on a classic field watch offers a range of choices to suit most styles and situations. For our purposes, we selected a Brown/Natural model with a basic leather strap. Here’s how it stacked up in our testing.
The Timex Expedition Scout has a lot going for it in the looks department. While many consider the Weekender to be a paragon of smart, simple form, we feel that the Scout represents a slightly more attractive package. Like the Weekender, it features a clearly readable dial (beige, in our case) with both 12 and 24 hour digits. The flat mineral crystal sits flush with the bezel, covering a pair of luminous, sword-shaped hands. And while the watch back itself is made of stainless steel, the rest of the case is comprised of black ion-plated brass. The Timex Expedition Scout also offers a date window, something lacking on the more basic Weekender. This is nicely placed at the three o’clock position. The date window on our Brown/Natural tester matches the color of the watch face, though this varies from model to model.
One note on the brass case – While the dark finish looks good from a distance, it loses some of its luster when examined up close. We suspect that it will acquire wear in a less attractive manner than something of a slightly higher caliber. But we’ll revisit this in the Finance portion of the review.
The dimensions of the timepiece itself are rather slim at 40mm wide and 10mm thick. It’s a nice medium size, with a light 3.84 ounces of overall heft. It’s a watch that you’ll forget about for 90% of the time it’s on your wrist, and we mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
Part of this comfortable experience can be attributed to the band. Comprised of leather calfskin, our brown 20mm strap features matching stitching and buckle closure. It looks a bit cheap until worn in, with a tendency to show the movement of fingers across it. Think of the marks your hand makes moving across a cheap microfiber couch, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’re seeing. These issues aside, the leather band is soft and easy on the wrist. Timex offers a wide variety of straps for the Expedition Scout, so there are other options out there.
We chose this particular color combination due in no small part to our desert surroundings. We’ve found it to be a solid partner for jeans, cargo shorts, and polo shirts. Only when wearing a dressy button-up does the watch start to feel a little out of its league. For hiking, working, or just hanging out, Timex Expedition Scout is a versatile, comfortable companion.
4 stars out of 5
Timex is known for making quality time pieces at inexpensive price points, and the Expedition Scout is no exception. Its quartz movement keeps excellent time, requiring no adjustments over its first several months. Timex’s trademarked Indiglo feature is represented here, available with a simple press of the crown. As an everyday timepiece, we’ve had no issues with the watch’s basic purpose: telling and keeping time.
There are a few minor nitpicks, however. For instance, the 31-day date window will require resetting after lesser months. “Sure,” you think, “No problem.” Well, the Expedition Scouts have a reputation for touchy crowns when it comes to date adjustment. It takes a while to perfectly pull and press the crown into a position where it spins the day instead of the hour and minute hands. Pick one up off the rack at Target or Walmart to see what we mean. Some models can perform this duty with ease, while others seem to resist. Not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind.
The main knock on the Expedition Scout is the same as that on the Weekender – It’s loud. While it’s never kept us from sleeping, it exhibits a prominent “tick” when held at a certain angle. Again, pick one up off a store shelf and you’ll see what we mean. The third hand also exhibits a considerable jitter, though it lands squarely on the hash marks.
These complaints aren’t exactly what you’d expect from a sophisticated, precision machine. But that’s not what we consider the Expedition Scout to be. We view it through a more rugged lense, as something to wear on your wrist when hiking, puttering around the yard, or working under the hood of your car. And in that sense, it excels.
4 stars out of 5
Since its purchase nearly three months ago, the Timex Expedition Scout has been worn more days than not. It’s seen more wrist time than a beloved Fossil Machine (which costs almost three times as much) and other larger or more elegant models. Why? Because of its excellent blend of comfort and simple, rugged design. It feels at home on the wrist, whether you’re sitting on the couch, walking a dusty construction site, or trekking through the wilderness. Its slim profile and classic look make it impossible to feel overdressed while seldom making us anxious at its humble origins.
That being said, we’re already planning to acquire a 5 Series Automatic from Seiko. So while the Scout may lose its regular place on our wrist, it will soldier on as a rough-duty watch. And, while we have concerns with the timekeeping ability of the Seiko, the Timex leaves us with no such doubts. If nothing else, it will remain in our pack to serve as both backup and measuring stick for the more expensive automatic.
4 stars out of 5
At just below $40, the Timex Expedition Scout is a solid bargain. It’s a reliable, proven piece of technology backed by a solid manufacturer’s warranty. The wide variety of available colors and bands will help you get the most bang for your buck, assuming you pick a model suited to your predominant day-to-day fashion. And, in the event that it’s lost or broken beyond repair, you’re not going to be out nearly as much money as you would for a Fossil, Seiko, or other such watch. Plus, Timex offers a one year warranty to cover whatever issues you may have. Could the material quality be better? Yes, but not at this price point.
A final note – because of its wide availability on the retail scene, we would recommend that you at least check one out in a brick and mortar store before making a purchase. Not only will you get a better hands-on feel, but some of the colors and patterns look a little different in person as opposed to online. And, since internet and retail prices are within a few pennies, you can often walk out of the store paying less than you would have with the shipping cost tacked on.
4.5 stars out of 5
Water resistant to 165 feet (50 M)
Antique shaped crown
Model number: T499639J
Where to Buy
Amazon (Averaging 4.1 out of 5 Stars over 525 customer reviews as of 10/5/16)