Cheap Watch No3 -Timex Easy Reader

Timex, we all know who Timex is.  Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  But many people do not know exactly how long this company has been around.  The company was originally founded in 1854 under the name Waterbury Watch Co.  They are also an American company.  Being founded in Connecticut, and still maintaining a headquarters in Connecticut.Timex Easy Reader Front

In the 1930’s, Waterbury had a bit of a resurgence when they signed an exclusive deal with Disney, and began producing Mickey Mouse watches under their subsidiary, Ingersoll.

In 1944 the Waterbury Watch Co. went belly up and was consolidated and reconfigured, then reopened as Timex Corporation.  It was during this time that the saying “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking came along”  Timex took a different approach to watchmaking.  Looking to make low cost, accurate timepieces that were durable.  The average Joe watches for you everyday person to wear, and not need to be worried if he or she accidentally broke that watch.

Today, Timex still makes lots of watches that are low cost, well built timepieces. In fact, that is their primary market.  The Timex Easy reader is only one of several men’s watches for under 50 dollars they offer.  The Weekender Series, Ironman and Expedition are all under 50 dollars, and are all well built watches.

The Easy Reader is a nice, basic watch.  It has a 35mm, brass case, which is reminiscent of previous era watches.  Today, watches tend to be 40mm and up.  The Easy reader is definitely a bit of a throwback. The dial of the watch is white and clean.  They use Arabic numerals to indicate hours on the dial.  The numerals are in black.  There is a date window located at the 3 o’clock position.  And depending which version of the Easy Reader you choose.  You may also get a day window.

The hour and minute hands of the watch are black and the second hand is polished steel.  It has the Timex, patented INDIGLO nightlight feature, and a steel spring expansion band (which I personally love).  Buckles are seriously overused, and the stretchy, steel expansion band is so quick and convenient.  I cannot help but love them.

The movement is an analog quartz movement.  Generally, today, most of the Timex lines are made either in China, or Philippines, with a small number of products made in Switzerland.  No actual manufacturing is done in America.  Generally speaking, these are not generic movements and parts, but actual Timex manufacturing plants.Timex Easy Reader Wrist

I see this watch on sale online for usually around 40-45 dollars.  The Timex website offers it for 44 dollars.  Personally, I think it is a decent option for under 50 dollars.  It is a nice looking watch and should not suffer from mechanical issues, such as you might have with the HMT Pilot or the Vostok Komandirskie, from the first two blog posts.  The quartz movement will limit possible mechanical failures.

Generally speaking, I like Timex watches for the under 50 dollar price point.  They are, for the most part, well made and tend to last a long time.  I love the Weekender series of watches, and the Easy Readers too, are some of my favorite cheap watches.

 

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Cheap Watch No2 – Vostok Komandirske

Amazing watches can be found for cheap, if you take the time to look around.  Companies like HMT and Vostok are two companies now, that the average person may never hear of.  Primarily, because they are not geared toward the American market.Vostok Komandirskie wrist

Vostok is a Russian company that has been making military style watches since 1942.  They specialize in military dive watches, and they do a great job with their specialty.  They make watches that are extremely rugged and have been known to be able to take quite a beating, and continue working.

Vostok began when the Moscow Watch Factory was evacuated to Chistopol.  Only defense equipment had been made during war years, but as soon as the war ended, they began producing watches. They did not take the name, Vostok, until the 1960’s, naming it after the USSR space program.Vostok Komandirskie front

Vostok was appointed the official supplier for the Defense Department in 1965, and began making military watches.  Including the Komandirskie.  They have several lines now, as well as manufacturing movements for several other watchmakers.

The Komandirskie is the watch I really want to talk about today.  The name has been included in the Vostok linup since the 1960’s, and is a solid military style watch, that has been well known for its durability.  It comes in many different styles, so I will not be giving you specifics about any watch in particular, but generally, they are 40mm watches, made of stainless steel, with a crown at the 3 o’clock position.  They all have a mineral glass lens, and give hours, minutes, seconds and the date.  They all use the 2414A mechanical movement, which is a 17 jewel movement, with 36 hours of power reserve.

Chistopolcity.com is probably the best place to buy a Vostok.  They sell them for around 30 dollars on the website, and have a huge collection of watches to choose from.  I personally think 30 dollars for a watch like this is a great value.  It is not high end, but the watch is tough, it will keep fairly accurate time, and it will more than likely, last a lifetime and more, if properly maintained.

Vostok Komandirskie back

Cheap Watch No1 – HMT Pilot

I am going to start off this blog with a unique watch.  HMT is a company most people have never heard of.  They are an Indian company who has been making watches

HMT Pilot on Wrist - Cheap Watches
HMT Pilot on a Wrist

since the early-1960’s.  They initially had a lot of help from Citizen Watch Co.  in getting started.  Citizen helped them design their movement, and it has basically remained the same very since.

HMT began life as the watchmaker for the Indian army.  They continued to do so for many, many years, while also reproducing their military watches for the general public.  They are a division of the Ministry of Heavy Industries in India.

HMT Pilot - Cheap Watches
Common Dial design Government announced that they would be closing HMT watches, but the outcry was so huge, they have continued to make watches, in smaller quantities, for public purchase.

The HMT Pilot is a classic HMT watch.  It is small, measuring about 35mm in diameter, around the outer edge of the case.  It is made of stainless steel, and has a plastic lens.  There are generally only black faced Pilots, but there are a few exceptions.  Yellow, orange, red, blue and green are also in circulation, but much less popular.  The face usually has a Arabic numera
l at the 12 o’clock position and index marks at the 3,6 & 9 positions, with small illuminated dots at the remaining hour marks.  The bands are usually leather, and have a buckle style clasp.  The movements are always the hand wound movement.

The Pilot has been in production since nearly the inception of the company, with only small changes in the design, making it extremely difficult to determine the actual age of the watch you might end up purchasing, if you decide to track down a Pilot.  I tell you this, because it will be nearly impossible for you to buy a new HMT pilot.  Inventory is scarce.  But, sites like Ebay will have dozens of Pilots for sale.  There is a word of caution for this though.  There is a good chance that if you find one that is called rare or unique, and is a color other than black, you are probably looking at a refurbished watch.  This is not the end of the world, because you can often pick up one of these “rare” Pilots for around 15 dollars.  If you find one that has not been tampered with (which is highly unlikely) you can expect to pay something closer to 50 dollars.  That is not a hard and fast rule.  My HMT Pilot cost 19 dollars, and appears to
be original.

HMT Pilot Insides - Cheap Watches
HMT Pilot with the back off, showing the movement

The point is, this is a cheap men’s watch that, no matter what the color is unique, and it a mechanical movement, and has a story behind it.  I love my HMT.  It keeps decent time, and I know that with it being a mechanical movement, if I would like it to keep a little better time, I can take it to a watch repair shop and they would be able to tighten things up, maybe replace a main spring, and the watch would be like new.

The point of me starting this blog is to give people some unique opportunities to find watches you would not be able to purchase in Walmart.  It will not (generally speaking) be a Chinese watch that will more than likely be broken in a couple weeks.  It will be something that you might even be able to give as a heirloom someday.  And that is something that is extremely uncommon with watches under 2000 dollars in today’s market.

So, check into HMT.  They have other watches which are also nice options and are often available on Ebay as well.  You might find something you really like, and something nobody in your circles will have ever seen before.

HMT Pilot Back - Cheap Watches
The Back of the HMT Pilot