Timex has a solid reputation for producing smart, affordable timepieces and has recently introduced a new version of its Timex Giorgio Galli S1. A novelty we think looks rather handsome, it is mechanically powered and won’t break the bank. So far, it ticks all our boxes as a strong value-for-money timepiece. The faithful reissue of a Timex Marlin in 2017 brought back mechanical watchmaking to Timex after a 35-year hiatus, and the new Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic Blue is looking to reinstate Timex’s former glory.
The brand has always been synonymous with accessible, fashion-oriented watches, but at one point in time, it played a big part in American mechanical watchmaking. The company has been in business since 1854 but had dropped mechanical watchmaking in favour of quartz power since 1982. Yet, in the middle of the last century, the brand was the premier mechanical watch manufacturer in the US. A strategic decision was made in the early 1980s – as so many watch brands did to survive amidst the quartz crisis – to stop offering mechanical watches altogether.
To break with the quartz-only tradition, Timex introduced a true-to-original Timex Marlin a couple of years ago. The brand’s return to mechanical watchmaking brought forth a faithful reissue, even down to the 34mm size. We’ve covered that watch and its automatic edition, too, here.
The Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic, previously available with a silver dial and now in a striking blue version, is looking to one-up the mechanical side of things for Timex. It’s positioned smack-bang in the middle of a very competitive product category. The S1 collection is still very affordable and has some stand-out elements to offer.
Timex has worked with renowned designer Giorgio Galli for roughly twenty years and bought his Milan-based Design Lab about 12 years ago. Yet, surprisingly perhaps, the S1 is the first watch to actually wear his name as a signature. The S1 Automatic is quite a stylish-looking piece, with a case design that stands out from most of the watches on offer in the S1’s price bracket. It’s a very modernly designed watch, with a 41mm stainless steel case. The case is made with injection moulding techniques, something you don’t see very often in watchmaking. It features hollowed-out sections in the caseband, which continue through the lugs, giving the case some flair. The case features a brushed finishing on top alternating with a polished finishing on the edge of the bezel and skeleton sections. A neatly shaped and decorated crown completes the look.
The slightly domed dial for the S1 Automatic comes in silver or blue and is a simple yet stylish design. It features applied polished hour markers with a small amount of luminous material and etched-out minute markers in between. The steel hour and minute hands are brushed and have a cut-out section as well and a small stripe of luminous material on the tips. A central seconds hand completes the indication. For the rest, the dial remains uncluttered, with only “Timex” written at noon and a decorative stone at six o’clock. The dial is covered with a double-curved mineral glass with an anti-reflective coating. That said, I believe a sapphire crystal would elevate this watch to a level where it would outperform most of the competition.
The movement of the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic Blue is visible through the caseback. The S1 Automatic is powered by the Miyota 9039 automatic movement, a decorated version of the 9000 family of movements from the Citizen subsidiary. For the Timex S1, the rotor has been decorated and skeletonized, showcasing most of the movement. While the Miyota movement isn’t anything special, it gets the job done. It has 24 jewels, runs at a 4Hz frequency (28,800vph) and offers 42 hours of power reserve.
The Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic collection comes on a black rubber strap. Quick-release spring-bars allow to easily change from black to any other colour available through Timex. The strap is also fitted with a riveted strap keeper, eliminating the need for traditional loops. We have no clue how this will handle in everyday life, but it goes well with the modern and fresh style of the watch. To stay true to its strategy of affordable watches, the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic is priced at USD 450.
More information on Timex.com.