Timex Todd Snyder Maritime Sport MS-1

What’s in a name?

I wanted this blog to be about the thrill that watches give rather than the specs and codes of the watch community that position any particular watch. A watch is more than its spec sheet.

This watch is a good example of a type of watch that I love and that challenges the formal standard categories of watches no matter the price point. I have written in earlier posts about what I term MILFASH, or fashion watches with a military flavor. So, the Todd Snyder Maritime Sport must then fall into a category I will call TOOLFASH., a fashion watch with tool watch flavor. Or, maybe I should go to DIVEFASH? Its a watch with a lot of mixed messages. It is an attention-getter.

Right off I have to say I love Timex watches for what they are, an inexpensive way to go many places in watch vernaculars. I don’t use “fashion” as a demeaning term. Just not a high-spec tool watch. Hey, any watch is a fashion watch at some point, right? They give me the basic time day/date functions while still getting a thrill when I look down at my wrist. I can express myself from several angles with theses guys.

Even within its own cost/function strata of the Timex world, the MS is unique among its contemporaries of the 2018 Archive Era. It is an odd mix of watch code attributes that leave some puzzled at first take. The name, Maritime Sport, evokes tool watch—robustness and water resistance, yet the watch is rated at 30m WR! Most of the Timex Archive Mk1, Navi, Allied products are rated at least 50m and many 100m. Even the earlier and popular Todd Snyder for J.Crew 2011(?) Andros watches (also beautiful) were 100m watches. Its the cost: you get great looks/design and Indiglo, but not 50m WR.

Black case, bezel, and dial TW2R83200

So, we are left with a watch with a watery name that you probably don’t want to get too wet. But you do want to look at it. It looks like more than it is. I love the dials and the bezels and all the details that Todd Snyder and Timex get in to this vintage yet fresh look. Why the “MS-1” designation? Will there be a MS-2?

The size and case type are interesting too. At 41mm the case is sized like a Navi XL but has the curved crown guards like a 43mm Harborside. The bezel extends just a bit past the case sides. I can’t recall another Timex that uses this case? The domed crystal gives them a vintage diver feel, too.

Brushed stainless case, bezel, with cream dial TW2R83400

If Todd Snyder found an inspiration in the Timex Archive for this concept, where did it come from? Its hard to know, but I scanned many Timex catalogs on Heritage 1854 trying to see if this watch had a direct historical inspiration. There really isn’t a Timex “diver-style” watch from the past that looks like this that I know of? This is more a combination of things from various watches; a case from one an dial from another, hands from another.

If you are familiar with another great 2020-21 Todd Snyder version of the 38mm Q reissue, the TW2T95500JR, you will see that it is an almost exact reproduction of a 1978-79 quartz day/date. It is a spread-out version of this dial that the MS uses. So Mr. Snyder/Timex must have been thinking about this dial before their collaboration Q came out? The hours are small green lume squares with long perpendicular bars.

Again, this watch is called Maritime Sport. Mr. Snyder must have felt the need to get some diver flavor into the fashion mix? This design seems to be a crossover between a dressy watch and a diver-y watch? On top of that it is presented on a NATO strap—yet another watch category symbol. It also has a bit of field watch flavor? The problem is that, to me, Timex doesn’t really have a deep or broad heritage in diver watches? There isn’t an iconic diver design that has endured? Maybe survived is what I could say, too, since many Timexes from the last 50 years have simply fallen apart. They were “affordable”, and sadly, most not designed to be repaired. There have been many diver styles since the 1960s from Timex, but since they were never in the serious tool watch business, no diver really stuck for more than a few of years. There have been lots of “sport” water resistant/ironman/dive/expedition models from near 200m WR down to 30m WR with diver-ish features. I tried to determine if the MS borrowed any case design from the past.

1979 Quartz dial and dot (Heritage 1854)
1982 Sport Quartz crown guards

The Timex Sports Quartz, 100mWR, from 1982 is the first case I know of with crown guards, but those guards are not as curved as the MS guards. That’s the best I can do: we have a Late 70s dial, and early 80s case, then a silver metal bezel more like some early 70s Electric Timex models or an ’80 Marlin Sport with a little bigger teeth than the Q. All the old Timex divers had black bezels while the old Qs had Silver bezels! Hmmm.

Crown triggered Indiglo

The hand set, again, adds to the unique mix. The lumed hands are thin and more delicate than Timex divers and Qs of the 70s, but they do criss-cross at the back ends like several mid 70s Qs , which adds some personality. They sort of resemble the 1982 Sport Quartz hands? The red second sweep is great with a lumed dot! Several of the 80s Timex models had a red dot second hand. The lume is weak, particularly the small squares at each hour. But, you have the Indiglo.

While I am in the vintage/archive mood, I must say that I am not yet tired of the vintage-inspired watch. There seems to be a growing feeling within the watch enthusiast community in general to move on to new ideas. Timex has always tried to look back while still updating its retro designs. I still love the Archive Era watches, like the Navi line. Even those don’t directly copy anything I can see from the archives even though that is the marketing speak? They are their own thing. They too are a mix of maybe the ’60s-70s skin diver case with a 80s Sports Quartz dot and bar dial? But I don’t really see any US market vintage Timex diver with crown guards like the Archive Navis? There was a ’89 Red dot diver and France market 1992 50m diver with pointy crown guards that looks great! Like an early 80s Tag Heuer Professional with a Seiko 62MAS-like dial.

1989 50 m WR Diver-styled (Heritage 1854)

I still would like to see more from Timex in the way of an updated version of their 1960-70s Skin Diver or 80s Sports Quartz. They could be awesome especially if there was black and silver bezel versions of each! Oh heck, throw in a blue dial version! There is still room for that in my world. If they can do 100 versions of a Q reissue, why not a retro diver?

The 2022-23 Standard and Waterbury 100m divers are modern takes with a few vintage elements, but they seem clunky and cartoon-ish? Either go vintage or new modern, its a hard balance. I would say this Maritime Sport and the Archive Navi line managed to look old and fresh at the same time?

Enough of then. Let’s look at these Maritime Sport models. I love ’em. There is a silver case/bezel or a black case/bezel. The silver one is my preference. (I can’t resist a cream dial or a silver bezel.) They both come on the same 20mm black and grey striped NATO with polished silver hardware. I haven’t felt the need to try any other straps? They might be cool on bracelets, but a rubber strap seems wrong for a 30m WR fashion watch? But it looks like a dive watch-sort of? Help! See what I mean?! Wear it on what you like.

On a 6.75 in. wrist.

The action is nice on the 60 click unidirectional bezel. Why the Archive Navi series didn’t get this ratcheted bezel action I don’t know. Cost? I have seen several examples of friction fit bezel rotating problems on the 38mm Navis and J. Crew Andros watches. Some are so tight they can barely be moved and Timex cannot/will not repair/replace those bezels any more. The domed crystal gives the vintage flair, but doesn’t really distort the dial much until an extreme angle.

Beefy crown guards

The press-on stainless back has the usual stainless, WR, battery type, date code and Todd Snyder collab markings. Some also have the etched product number that also comes in the form of a sticker on others.

What a team

Mostly I prefer the silver/cream version. Nothing say tool like a silver bezel? I’m not as partial to the all-black stealth look, especially in a diver? But, sometimes I do feel the more subdued mood of white marks on all black. Because this watch also has a military field watch vibe, especially in black, it works with many outfits as an expression of adventure. They each have a strong personality on their own. Maybe the cream for Summer, black for Fall?

Time to talk about the movement. I am not sure which Timex caliber it is? The movement has day and date. The crown has three positions. When all the way in running, push in crown to get Indiglo back light. First position out adjusts date only, second position out adjusts time. The day cannot be adjusted in the second position by turning crown the opposite direction of date, as you might expect. Day moves with the time adjust, but you can go back-both directions. Hey, Its a basic Timex. You’re probably getting it for between $80-120, depending on source. These day/date/indiglo movements can have a nebulous feel to the crown action positions.

At this time, if you bought the watch new from a dealer within the 1- year warranty period, Timex will replace the movement and battery for $8. But it may take a couple of months…After a year it will be $30.

These are Timex unique cross-over models among the many of this Archive era. They probably would not be here without the Todd Snyder inspiration. Again, to me they are a fun watch even at 30m WR. I know I said the specs don’t matter, but I could see more of these selling if the 50M WR mark had been achieved? Must have been a trade-off for the Indigo or case design? And cost, hitting the right price point. If you can find one is good shape, grab it for a nice looking bit of TOOLFASH.

Case Diameter: 41mm

Lug-to- lug length: 48mm

Lug gap: 20mm

Crystal: Domed acrylic

Thickness: 13mm

Movement: quartz, day/date, indiglo

WR 30 m


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