Thursday, April 26, 2012

Watch Review: Vintage Timex Mercury Manual-Wind Watch

As I was rummaging through my watches last week (original post 2012), I came across my 1970s vintage Timex Mercury in its original packaging.  I bought it last year off of ebay in New Old Stock (NOS) condition.  It's a fantastic, manual-wind, watch. 
My New-In-Box Timex Mercury Manual Wind Watch

[Update: This article original posted a link to a review I wrote.  My original review was posted on Associated Content which was bought out by Yahoo! Fortunately, they let us retain rights to the articles. Here is that review of the Timex Mercury.]
Sometimes ebay offers the chance to step back in time. As a casual watch collector, I was intrigued by a listing for a New, Old Stock, manual-wind, Men's Timex Mercury wristwatch. With so many auctions depending on subjective descriptions of used items, I was excited by the prospect of buying a brand new vintage watch. It was an exciting item to win for $38.95 plus a small shipping fee.

When my Timex Mercury arrived, it was still in its original packaging. Amazingly, the mechanical marvel originally sold for $25.95 sometime back in the late 1970s. As I removed it from it's box, I was struck by the simplicity of the watch. It has a shiny chrome dial, black numerals, and black hands for hours, minutes, and seconds. Since the Timex Mercury predates the huge and clunky watch trend, the face of the watch seems a little small at a sensible 35 millimeters across. The watch is also around 9 millimeters thick. It's a slim watch by today's standards.

Timex Mercury

Like many modern analog watches, the Mercury also provides the day of the week and date in addition to the time. However, setting the day and date is a little cumbersome by modern standards. You have to rotate the crown counterclockwise to nine o'clock and then back towards three repeatedly. It isn't difficult, but I was glad to have the directions. The band is a hybrid of expansion band and strap features. Basically, the band has a metal strap made of expansion band material and a clasp that clicks into the links of the expension band. The band is 20 millimeters wide at the watch and tapers down to 15 millimeters wide. While the band sounds a bit complicated, the Timex Mercury watch is actually very comfortable to wear.

Amazingly, this 1970s-vintage Timex has withstood the test of time and still keeps good time. You simply have to manually wind the watch each day. If you are a collector, playing with a watch is not a hardship. The shiny metallic look, dome-style crystal, and functional design of this Timex watch draw lots of complements. The design is simply timeless. The Timex Mercury was introduced in 1961 for only $8.95. Timex sold huge numbers of these watches during the sixties and seventies. The Mercury name even lived on into the 80s and 90s on quartz watches with Indiglo features. Needless to say, vintage Timex watches are regularly available from ebay, Etsy, and other auction sites at affordable prices.

Overall, this Timex Mercury was a great addition to my watch collection. While high end brands may have more prestige than Timex, nifty, cool, and affordable are adjectives that work well for me!


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