Timex Allied Collection: Part 1

When is a Scout not a Scout?

40mm Allied on bracelet, TW2R46700VQ

One of the Timex watches that caught my eye about five or six years ago, along with a Weekender, was a white dial Allied with a bead-blast dull silver case and bracelet. It was clean, simple and on sale.

Making Sense of the Allied line

As it turns out, it was a TW2R46700VQ, 40mm Allied. I was just beginning to look at watches again and learn just how many watches Timex offered. Little did I know that five years later I would still not really know how many watches Timex offered! The Timex website is horrible about archiving info on recently past offerings, which is Ironic since they are a leader in the retro movement. They even called a whole program Archive, that also just suddenly disappeared. It was probably redundant since most of their offerings were archival reworks. I’ll bet even they lost track of what was included in Archive!

With the constantly churning, ever-changing international monster that is Timex, it is hard to know when a watch line starts and when it ends. In this low-end fashion/utility watch segment many components are shared across different lines and take on different looks in different countries. Just about the time you figure out what a Timex watch line is about, it is gone, only to be replaced by a new trend.

If a line is popular, they will sell out immediately; “Join the Waitlist”. By the time they are restocked, there are new versions. The new versions just seem to pop up out of nowhere. So, just as you try to get caught up on what the original line consisted of, you have to catalog the new versions/colors. Because of “Join the Waitlist”, you get the new version. Forget about getting a replacement strap, too. (It seems Timex only makes about a dozen extra straps for the whole USA market.) Then you go to the web search for the flipper offerings and find other international versions, thanks to FINS lean manufacturing by region! By the time the dust settles and you think you know all the versions, there is nothing available new until grey market stuff emerges two years later. By then you can also get preowned examples.

By the time I figured out there was an Allied group of watches, there was Allied Coastline, Allied Archive and a subgroup of Archive called Pioneers, a subgroup of Allied LT and then the Metropolis versions. There is probably something else, too? On top of that, there are the collaborations using the Allied platform. The battle and the search continues. I have never seen a catalog visually showing the whole Allied line ever made. I doubt it exists? There might be one for each region of the world, but those are probably digital and then I doubt any one server has them all? Hey, maybe the Italian design studios? This post is covering what I call the Basic Allieds, meaning 3-hands that were made in 2017-18 mostly. I’d like to cover the Allied Coastline and Allied Chronographs in later posts.

The Allied gang, all 40mm, date, and Indiglo

Anyway, the answer to the question in the subtitle is: When it’s an Allied. I have never owned and Expedition Scout (I think?). I have many Allied examples. The simplest way to describe an Allied is to say it is a 40mm field watch style with a quartz movement. So is a Scout; That same 40mm brass case, same numbers, same date window, same hands, same crown, Indiglo, WR50m and the same date only movement(M905?). The difference is that the Scout has “Expedition” on the dial in the US market, and is sold more as a commodity watch at variety stores. It has sort of replaced the “Camper”. An Allied is sold without the “Expedition” on the dial, is trimmed out in different colors and finishes and sold through boutiques or directly.

I always thought that “Expedition” type looked crowded on the dial, tucked in below “TIMEX”? That said, the “TIMEX” on the Allied could be moved down a bit, too, when the Expedition is removed? But that would cost money for another template and this is the low end of the market.

I didn’t want to talk about Expedition Scouts in this post, but one can’t really talk about the Allied without including the Scout? One can be excused for not realizing an Allied is not a Scout. This could have been a problem for Timex, I am sure. The Scout is the basic, generic field watch with the minimum required specs at the lowest price with the least marketing. Its a basic tool for using when you don’t care what happens to it. 40mm instead of the Camper’s 36mm, it is a more substantial watch. If you are going hiking, gardening, maybe swimming, camping, working in the shop or the kitchen. It might even be something you keep in the camping box! Not a lot of thought goes into buying one for most people. Yes, you might pick a color you like, but the main factor is the price. It is the minimum, almost expendable, almost throw-away(for another post) watch when you want the most basic new watch you can find.

From the Metropolis Allied group

The Allied then, was a re-look at the Scout. It took that field watch esthetic and tweaked the details a bit. The Allied moved the weekend camping watch to an everyday office watch. The Archive versions gave it a more retro/military spin and the Metropolis gave it a more edgy street spin.

Around the world, some may call Allied models “Scouts” and they may not be Expedition Scouts. After looking at hundreds Allied or Exp. Scout images across the web, I can usually separate the two just by color combinations or straps before I see the text on the dial.

There are also Allied chronographs. I have chosen to not cover them in this post. These also fall into various subgroups such as LT, Metropolis, Archive, etc.

I have recorded approximately twenty-six different 3-hand Allied model numbers to date. This is from numerous subgroups. Some may be the same watch with different strap or from a different world region. Again, I don’t know of a way to determine how many there are. My attempts to classify and categorize the Allied range are a smoldering wreck on the side of the road…

As for the Expedition Scout, there could be a hundred versions out there with different dial/case finish/strap configurations. You can even go to My Timex and design your own from up to seven dials colors, three case finishes, 18 leather and 21 nylon strap options! So maybe there is no known defined list of Allied or Scout models and never will be? Does it matter? As long as there is one 40mm case (of any finish), one movement, one dial(of any color), and one strap (of any color leather or nylon) there is a Scout/Allied to be born.

Tan TW2R61000, Cream TW2R46400 and White TW2R46700 dials

Let’s look at some Allied models I am familiar with. Some Allied examples seem more Scout-ish, if I may, because of some of the color combinations. In the image above, the tan and cream dialed examples look like they could be Expedition Scouts because of dial colors and case colors. But I think the straps are only used on Allied units.

The tan dial, satin silver case, dk. grey hand version on left is the TW2R61000. Notice the burgundy 24 hr track numbers, burgundy mark above the 12, and the burgundy thread on the tan criss-cross canvas two-piece strap. I do like those straps. Also used with some Mk1s (Todd Snyder Steel Mk1s). They use metal grommets in the sizing holes. There is a sister version with green dial and strap under the number TW2R60900.

The center watch with a cream dial is the TW2R46400. Notice the lighter grey hands and orange second sweep and mark above the 12. I’m going to call the case gunmetal, but it takes on a brown tone with that nice brown leather two-piece strap that also has gunmetal hardware. Overall its a nice rich, warm feeling for the watch.

These three have the “Arrow” second hand-an arrow head and classic fletching like tail. The Archive versions have the ball or lolipop tail. As far as I know, the Expedition Scouts always have the arrow second hand.

Bracelets

The one on the right(above image), the TW2R46700VQ, that I mentioned in the lead, is one of the few Allied three-handers with a bracelet. The dial is white with a pop of orange above the 12 and the second hand. There is a black dial version with this case and bracelet: TW2R46600. The third bracelet version I know of, the TW2R46800, with charcoal dial with light grey numbers, same orange highlights and a dark gunmetal case and bracelet.

TW2R46800 Dark Gunmetal finish

It is an interesting finish color, adding some variety to this Timex line. It is dark, almost a black feel at first glance. Unfortunately, the bracelet and case finished don’t match exactly, the bracelet being noticeably darker in certain lighting. I have seen this with the silver tone case and bracelet, too. But, that is what you get for a watch costing around $115 and probably had its bracelet made in one place and case in another. It does not bother me, but for some these kinds of differences are irksome. The bracelets do add some heft to the watches and give it a different character. They are not quick release, so you probably won’t be switching them out often?

Faux aged cases on TW2T84600LG blue, and Metropolis yellow tint TW2U48800LG

Metropolis

These are two of my favorite Allied models and they exhibit why Timex can be so fun. The special thing about these two is the faux aging or distressed look of the cases. I love any kind of faux aged metallic finish! It gives the watch a special personality. Timex also did a similar thing on a Nigel Cabourn collaboration, that I also love. The problem then is finding aftermarket straps with hardware with similar treatment! (To get more off track, I recently saw the Doxa Clive Cussler LE with a distressed/faux aging process for case and bracelet. I want it!)

The TW2T84600LG has that very cool color blue dial and a frosty silver case and crown. (side note: the Allied crowns are bigger that those on the Mk1s and usually match the finish of the cases. Lots of Mk1s have polished silver crowns no matter the case color.) I have it on a single pass leather strap the contrasts with the blue. I think it came on a reversible blue/black fabric/reflective strap. The Metropolis sub group of Timex Archive took various models and gave them a mixture of tinted crystals, distressed case treatments and reflective reversible straps.

Antiqued silver case
Antiqued bronze case

The black dial TW2U48800LG combines a distressed brass finish with a tinted Metropolis-style crystal that give the white numbers below a yellow glow. This particular model number includes the bright green fabric strap that I think is from the European offerings. That bright green strap really pops, but for another look I like this guy on a black adjustable single-pass with brass hardware. I like the tint on this one, but do not like many of the Metropolis line.

Both of these have the standard Allied number set and 24 hr track. The second hand has arrow head pointer and the ball back end. The obelisque style hour and minute hands are used across the Allied range but in different colors. They have some lume. Most Allieds have no lume on the dial.

Hour and minute hands only lume
Indiglo, note bottom out on this Brook?

There are some Indiglo in a bluish color, others more green. Indiglo is activated by pushing in the crown.

This TW4B03700 is a Scout/Allied prototype, I think. It has a Black case and dial for a limited edition special made-up for Japan with custom distressed font (like on J.Crew Military watch form 2008). It is combined with an Archive reflective reversible slip-thru strap, matte black case, and strap is reflective on top. It is a bit boring besides the type style. I’m not sure if there was more to the final product? There are black Expedition Scouts, but I don’t know of any Allied models with black dial and black case? Several have a gunmetal color.

Distressed numbers, TW4B03700
Brook “Scout” ABT113

The ABT113 Brook Scout I lump with the Archive Allieds rather than the Expedition Scouts. It is a European model. It has a black dial with white numbers, a satin gunmetal grey case and strap hardware. (I wish I could be more specific about these Timex case finishes. The basic cases are brass then plated with these various PVD (or other) process. There are several shades of gray to brown and bronze. Since I don’t know the colors, I tend to call several of them gunmetal.) The hand set is silver like the other Archive Allieds. With a nice grey, sort of herringbone woven strap, this watch has a more subtle, elegant look. There is also a matching chronograph.

Two Allied versions I know of come on the quick release rubber strap. The Blue is the TW2R61100. The black( not pictured) is the TW2R67500. The pictured TW2R61100 blue-dialed version is a case color just lighter than the Brook scout. The grey on blue numbers are a bit harder to see. Orange 24 hr track and arrow second hand really pop off the dial.

TW2R61100 with blue dial and strap. Grey numbers instead of white.

Why a rubber strap for a 50m WR watch? I guess it works for afield watch that you might get muddy or dirty and splashed around a bit? It is actually a pretty substantial strap and is also used on the Allied Coastline 43mm group of watches that are 100m WR rated. The strap incorporates a tab that locks into a cutout on the keeper loop to securely hold on the the end of the strap.

Blue with quick-release rubber strap
strap end lock

As I have mentioned before, I am not sure which Allieds fall under the Archive banner but these next two examples, I am pretty sure, do just that. How do I know? On these dials you can find the small “ARCHIVE” type at bottom of dial, to the left of the 6. The “WR 50M” has been moved down there too, to the right. Up above the 6 is now a big “QUARTZ”. These two also are part of the Archive sub group Pioneers.

TW2T42300 brass finish, TW2R74300 silver-tone finish. Pioneers

These are my favorites of the Allied bunch. Its just the little details make them stand out from the rest. Their hands done in metallic gold or silver tie into the case finish color. The number style is changed to a more vintage one with a small serif. There are small lume dots at each hour number. The date window also has a white frame. There is a bracelet version of the silver-tone with model TW2T14100LG. It has been a hard one to find.

Lume Dots on Archive Pioneers
With Indiglo on

The Archive Pioneers versions are my favorite, and the hardest to find. The brass/gold one is my particular favorite. In fact, it is one of my favorite Timex watches. I finally found one in Italy. It is just a nice looking watch, and to me is another great example of how Timex can evoke big nostalgia and adventure for little money.

As for straps, depending on market and if the selling boutique was involved with the Mix program, you may find these watches on one of several straps. Usually it was a fabric NATO or leather NATO. Since the Allied watches have a 20mm lug gap, I am often trying different straps, especially single-pass. I like the tan fabric top/leather bottom NATO that the TW2R74300 came on, so I just leave it. The gold/ brass one I wear more so rotate several straps. The fabric NATOs can be a little bulky. As usual, they are hard to find anyway like all Timex original Archive straps.

The Allied range may not have been as popular as the Mk1s and been confused with the Expedition Scouts. But, if you can find a Archive Pioneers or Metropolis version, I think you get into unique territory and can enjoy the interesting details and have fun with straps to fit a lot of moods. A classic field watch with black dial and brushed/polished stainless case can be boring at times. The Timex Allied case finishes allow you to break away form that boredom in understated ways.

Case diameter : 40mm

Water resistance: 50M

Movement: Quartz

Crystal : Flat Mineral

Thickness: 10.5mm

Lug gap: 20mm

Length Lug to lug: 49mm


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