Timex Allied: Part 2

The Chronographs

Lots of variety in the Allied Chronograph collection

I’ve been avoiding this topic. The Timex Allied collection has had me confused. When I first tackled the topic in Part 1, I did not want to include chronographs as the three-handers were trouble enough to sort out. Since then I have analyzed the Mk 1 collection I have noticed some ways that Timex uses to create subgroups within huge lines. In the process, I felt I got a handle on the Mk1 offerings. I didn’t do as well cataloging all the styles with the Part 1 of my Allied posts. I may need to update that post with some more dates and models. I still am refining my approach to the Allied chronographs, but hopefully this post will get me on track with my Timex Allied research and collecting.

On top of that, I have been away from blogging for a few weeks, so am itching to be writing about watches again. With so many other projects, events and chores its hard to keep a regular blogging schedule. I don’t have a shortage of topics. During this time I have still been collecting more new and preowned watches.

When I did finally get back to my blog, I was having technical problems with browser to hosting service, etc. Hopefully things are going again so I can keep writing!

TW2R60200 dark olive dial with cream numbers

Variety Galore

Like most Timex collections, the Allied family of watches covers a lot of ground. According to Timex, the “Allied watches are inspired by military watches and the great outdoors.” There is lots of variety in case finishes, dial colors, hand styles and straps. I have counted at least 24 different combinations of case/dial/hands/glass in the Allied chronographs. If one case/dial combination has a bracelet and a strap version, I count that as two different watches. If you count all the possible strap combinations on non-bracelet versions, there is probably another 15 style numbers.

There are several sub-categories to explore such as Allied, Allied LT, Archive, Metropolis, Todd Snyder, etc. They have lots of nice design details that I really like. Timex does a great job of trying unique design concepts you don’t see on mainstream, higher-end watches. As I say, they are more fashion oriented than they are spec watches. As collectibles, I would say they are popular and it can be hard to find some models.

Remember, too, that while the various Allied lines were coming out, Timex was also releasing similar MK1 lines. So, it is interesting to me to compare and contrast the Allied with the Mk1. Simply, the Allied range seems to be an extension of the Expedition Scout case with sharp corners and flat crystal, born from the outdoor/military influence in a slightly larger format than Mk1s. The Mk1s, based off the original Camper case, have rounder corners, with box crystals, are a bit smaller, more elegant, with some lines leaning towards urban street wear. Still, many MK1s also had the vintage military inspiration, too, and the two lines cross-over a lot with similar color palettes and textures. I might go so far as to say the Mk1s have a bit more vintage feel to them while the Allied seems more modern?

42mm Mk1 top, 43mm+ Allied bottom; similar yet different

Sorting out the various Allied subgroups and models can be daunting for me because I get distracted easily. Some subgroups have gotten pretty far away in appearance from the the classic Allied look to the point that I almost want to cover them in separate posts as different watches; but they all fall under the Allied banner. As with anything Timex, just when you think you have them sorted, (for along time) there is always another one you haven’t seen yet!

Allied 43mm Chronograph with 40mm 3-hand.

Just as the Allied 40mm three-hands have a lot in common with Expedition “Scouts”, the Allied 43mm chronographs can be similar to Expedition chronographs in case, movement, hands, dial layout and colors. (The Allied TW2R47700 I own even has an Expedition case back!) But again, they use finishes, straps and details that set them apart from their Expedition cousins. Their size is reaching the limits of my wrist, but I am drawn to their vintage and military style. As for size, I prefer the 40mm 3-hand Allied watches because they fit my wrist better being approx. 49mm lug-to-lug. When I first started collecting the Allied chronographs, I really didn’t think abut the size as much as I do now. It makes me wonder what factors Timex considered when making the Allied chronographs 43mm instead of 40mm? You know you are wearing a watch when you put on an Allied chrono with solid link bracelet.

Archive Allied chrono black case

The Basics

The Allied chronographs are almost 43mm cases with mineral glass crystals. I think all use the M921 quartz movement, have 3-6-9 sub-dials, and date window at 4 o’clock. Regular time seconds are handled by a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The seconds elapsed are tracked with the large second hand. There is a minutes elapsed sub dial at 9 o’clock marked to 30 min., and a 1/20th sec marked sub dial at 3 o’clock. With this movement, you can set the hour hand without moving the minute hand. They have snap on backs and are rated 100m WR. They have Indiglo backlit dials. Lug-to-lug lengths are 50-52mm, with some models having different lug shapes. Watch thickness is 12.5mm. They are not small watches; running a bit bigger than the 42mm MK1 chronos that come in around 48-49mm lug-to-lug, or the aluminum Mk1s at with 40mm case and 47mm length. So, just enough to feel bigger than Mk1s. Other differentiating features are bigger crown than the Mk1s and the crown and pushers tend to match the finish of the case while the Mk1s often have silver polished crowns and pushers.

Depending on the subgroup, Allied chronos could come on 20mm bracelets, two-piece fabric or leather or NATO-style fabric or leather. Generally, the bracelet versions are harder to find. Like the MK1s, I think there is an Allied three-hand to match the chronographs by case finish, dial color, and strap? Most of them anyway. I’ll try to sort that out as I go.

Sorting out the Sub-groups

In order to help myself sort these models out, I need to get some kind of a chronology(!) established. It seems the Allied chronographs started appearing in 2017? I believe the Timex Archive campaign kicked-off in 2016. Most Allied chronos were made between 2017 and 2019. One of the challenges of trying to identify all the Allied models is the fact that the same basic watch can have more than one model number depending on strap and region of the world it is sold in. Part of the intent of the Timex Archive Mix program was that a customer could select from several straps. Finish colors can also throw me off on identifying models. Timex produces a range of silver to black shades of “gunmetal” without really naming each as a specific color. Sellers use different color descriptions and online images are deceptive. Lastly, some watches came with engraved or etched model numbers while others came with model numbers on stickers, that might not match the price tags! Online images can be deceptive too; case and dial finishes/colors can look different, so it is possible to misidentify a watch.

TW2R31200WSB Black, TW2U27400LG White
Archive on dial

Of the Allied chronos I own, the earliest dates are 2017, and they are the more modern-styled Archive and Metropolis models. So, I will start with them. I call these the Allied watches without Arabic numbers — they use solid bar printed on the dial in black or in a green lume material. They don’t have the classic Expedition rehaut with cut-outs at each hour. They also have “ARCHIVE” in small type printed on the dial at 6 o’clock. The Archive chronos also have the words “Chronograph” and “Caliber M921” across the middle of the dial.

TW2T43100 Blasted Silver/Black dial, TW2R76800 Blasted Silver/White dial, TW2V08800 Blasted Silver/Black dial, blasted silver bracelet

The three pictured above have a blasted silver finish. There is a black dial and a white dial version. You may see either of the non-bracelet versions on any one of numerous fabric or leather single-pass or NATO-style straps. The TW2R76800, white dial shown is on a reversible fabric/reflective stripe type strap common to Metropolis versions. I do not know of a white dial version with bracelet.

The interesting thing about these three is that I believe each crystal has a very slight cool grey tint to it. It is very subtle, and you might not notice it unless informed. It is harder to see on the black dial. On the “white” dial, it gives the effect of the dial being off-white/light grey. The effect, once you notice it, is like looking through tinted glasses at something. Even though they are tinted, I don’t think they fall under the Metropolis subgroup? The Metropolis versions are distinctly darker tints and have special case finishes. To further muddle the mix, I have to also mention the Allied LT Group of chronos that also have a dark tinted version, but are not considered Metropolis!

Metropolis

Let’s move into the Allied Metropolis chronographs now. These I distinguish by special “aged’ case finishes, some darker crystal tints and maybe even reversible straps. It is the aged finishes that really attract me to these watches.

Allied Archive Metropolis aged case finish and tinted crystals TW2T4300 bottom and TW2U52200LG top

It can be frustrating and difficult to sort out and categorize some Timex Allied Archive/Metropolis models. Sometimes I can’t figure out model numbers because of different straps or region specific models. I do not know how many different models of Allied Chrono exist, and I doubt Timex could tell you either!

Both the above watches have an aged silver finish and a tinted crystal. I consider them both to belong to Metropolis subgroup. But looking at dials they are completely different. They have similar hand sets. The one on bottom, TW2T4300, with bar hour markers is clearly an Archive/Metropolis with a smoky brown tint that is darker than that on the TW2T43100 mentioned before. Its original strap is a reversible/reflective, too. Moving to the blue dial, which I designate TW2U52200LG, has what appears to be the very slight grey tint like white dial TW2R76800 before, but a “classic” Allied dial with Arabic numbers and “INDIGLO” rather than “ARCHIVE” at bottom of dial. I assume Timex did not want to spend on a new dial printing of the classic Allied dial with “ARCHIVE” on dial. It may be a European market model?

TW2R76600LG Black case?

I’m going add this model, the TW2R76600LG(or TW2T16900), into the Allied Archive group, but I am not calling it a Metropolis? The one I own has a Sep 2017 date code. It does not have not have the light tint to the crystal, or aged case finish. The case is finished in black pvd. There are not many Allied watches, especially three-hands, with a black case. TW2T33100, TW2R47500 are other black chronos. Several MK1s came in black, but not the Allied. The strap on this could be black canvas fabric over leather NATO or a black denim NATO.

If you like the blackout and more modern look, you could also track down the End x Timex or Carthartt x Timex collaborations that are black chronos based on the Allied.

The various reflective reversible straps as seen on the Metropolis (and Archive) are not really something I like yet, but they are interesting. I like some of the buckle finishes but overall they have a low-quality feel and some are stiff. I usually end up with them on a canvas or nylon NATO or single pass. Overall, the Archive campaign has shown, these watches look great on a variety of straps. Now that I have been analyzing the Allied chronographs, I note that not many come on two-layer NATO style straps? Most are 2-piece, bracelet or single-pass. This might be to lessen the bulk of a pretty big watch and get it closer to the wrist?

Allied LT Chronos

The Allied LT range stands out for the knurled bezel treatment, hand style and lugs which are different from all other Allied watches. They even have a signed crown. And yes, here are tinted crystals again. There are some three-hand 40mm watches to match chronographs in this subgroup. The LTs have a distinctive vintage/military flavor to them, while at the same time a forward looking flair. That was what I think intention of the Archive campaign was about; vintage feel in a contemporary expression. Timex threw a lot of details into these guys to the point that they can’t slip buy, unnoticed, as just another field watch-like Scout. They almost escape from the Allied design language but are held in place by the basic, size, and dial layout.

TW2T75800VQ green dial, TW2T75700VQ silver dial, TW275900VQ blue dial

I get the feeling they were popular, but at the same time, they might have been too much for some? The relative scarcity of them on the secondary market makes me think they have lots of fans. Again, I am not sure how many versions of the Allied LT chrono there are, since I have never seen a documented comprehensive list of them in one place! Below I discuss a hybrid LT which I am not sure how to classify. As Timex is wont to do, there is an initial release of several models, then they slip in later versions unannounced around the world, in various markets. I seem to stumble onto versions I haven’t seen while searching for ones I do know of.

LT silver dial top, TS black dial front

The two things that hit you first are the knurled texture bezel treatment and the hand set of most models. The handset I’m referring to is the very vintage arrow head hour and dagger minute hands and lollipop second sweep that look as if they came off of a 1960s diver. They are treated with an aged orange color. Then you have the case finishes which range from gunmetal to black. When you look closer, you see the lugs with rounded ends that are drilled and hold slotted screw heads. The screw heads are meant to be aesthetic; not removed, since the range all come with quick-release, two-piece straps.

50mm, lug-to-lug is max for this wrist!
Round lug end with screw head

The unique 20mm straps are mostly canvas on leather, colored to match each dial. I like canvas with a military-style watch. The hybrid LTs use leather and a synthetic camouflaged version. For all the LTs I own, 3-hand or chrono, I have not needed or wanted to put different straps on them, unlike most other Timex collections in which I freely change-up straps.

Hybrid LT/Todd Snyder

I have to separate four other Allied chronos from the LT group above because they use a different handset, a classic pencil, tipped in flour-orange. I think I read somewhere that Todd Snyder may have been involved with this hybrid set, so I am calling them the Todd Snyder subgroup. Each in this group has a distinctive look. There is a matching 40mm 3-hand for three of the four; not the cream dial. With the black-dialed TW2T32900, the middle case is brushed stainless. The others are gunmetal or black. Two have hands which are matte silver with flour-orange tips. The other two black hands with orange tips. Only one (TW2T3800) appears to have the tinted crystal? So, with that one you have to embrace the Metropolis experience of looking through the smoked lens. The TW2T32700, with cream dial, black hands and strap is quite a departure from the rest which are darker and more military feeling. It is sort of a counterpoint to the TW2T32900. The last, the TW2T33100, goes to the black case and a unique camo strap for full-on commando. I have only seen this strap on this watch and its matching 40mm version. The other three have a classic leather strap. Overall, a more classic look than the LTs. Does Timex include these in the LT group? I don’t know? I’ve seen them called LT, because of the bezel I think?

Todd Snyder LT Allied set: TW2T32900 brushed SS, blk dial, TW2T32700 silvertone, cream dial, TW2T32800 blasted silver, tinted crystal, TW2T33100 dark case and black dial, camo

The TW2T33100 I own is dated 2019 and is one of the last Allied Chronos I have collected. I was not interested in it when I first saw it a few years back. But, as a collector you start to appreciate different versions of a watch over time, and also have the collector bug that wants to get several (if not all) the different colors of the watch? What I like about this one is the silver painted hands on the black dial and that textured bezel really feels different in black.

Camo Strap
Cordura/Silicone strap

Since this one Allied has a unique camo strap, I want to take the time to discuss camouflage. In general I am a big fan of military inspired fashion. I like camouflage, but… Camo is always something that I am to hesitant to wear. It can elicit many different reactions. It is a device to evoke military-ness with fashion wear. To some, it is too much cosplay. Government-issued military watches, of any era, almost never use camouflage. They are various solid colors. I wore plenty of camo of various kinds in my time in the Army, so don’t really want to wear it for civilian dress. But, I do occasionally. It can be fun, in small doses. Hunters wear versions of it. Outdoor clothing companies like Eddie Bauer and Orvis offer some low-key, camo items which I like. I rarely wear old Army camo items, for various reasons. So, with watches and their straps, I embrace the fashion statements, but use sparingly. There are some very nice($!) camo straps like the jacquard ones by Crown&Buckle or RSM that are just beautiful.

TW2T33100 Black and Camo

More on Straps

As every watch collector knows, a wrist watch is on a strap/bracelet of some kind, and the strap can determine the level of appeal a watch has. Like changing clothes from casual to dressy or from work to party, a strap change transforms a watch for a new purpose. For function or fashion statement, a change can give you a new appreciation for a watch. For this TW2T33100, I decided to try on a Barton Cordura/Silicone in Smoke grey, 20mm, I had in reserve. It looks great on this watch and bumps it up a notch in class.

Unique Timex camo strap
Barton Cordura/Silicone strap

For those not familiar with this type of Barton 2-piece strap, I say try one; I think you will be impressed. It is a big expense at my normal watch price range, if you consider the cost of the strap is almost half that of the price paid for the watch. This particular dark grey is warm, almost brown, and the texture of the Cordura is like the texture on the watch bezel, so along with the black silicone and buckle, one could think it came with the watch. Actually, with this type of watch, this strap in black, grey, brown or green would work!

I have noticed that most Timex Allied chronos, come on either a two-piece or single pass strap. Since they are fairly big watches, this keeps them closer to wrist, so that makes sense? That said, some also originally came on two layer NATOs, or plenty of 20mm NATO-style straps were available form Timex, too. For my wrist, with this size watch, I like to keep it low. Still, the NATO-style strap is desirable at times and depending on each person wearing it, not an issue.

Classic Allied Chronos

I’m learning and making sense of the Allied chronos and how I can categorize them as I go. I’m parsing-down the characteristics to figure out how to subdivide the wide diversity of the line. Timex has a way of creating lines of watches in which many share some features and components but that also can be separated by other distinguishing common features shared by some but not all. Some differences can be subtle and cause one to think two watches are the same model until seen side by side!

Case in point: dials not the same

For a while, I thought the two watches above were the same watch, with one on fabric strap, the other a bracelet, obviously. Case finishes are the same. They have the same orange second sweep and orange square above the 12, the same shape and color of hands. Once you have them side by side, you can see the TW2R60200 on left has cream numbers & lume on a dark green dial. The TW2R47700 on right had light grey numbers on a dark grey dial. Looking at small off-color online images, you could easily confuse the two?

Timex often offers the same watch on fabric or bracelet, as they have done with Allied and Mk1 lines. But sometimes they do change details when going from bracelet to fabric or by doing a unique version that does not have a matching 3-hand or only come on one bracelet or fabric/leather strap, but not both. This can make it hard when trying to sort the style into subgroups.

These next two examples are pure classic Allied DNA a were released in 2017-18, I think. They are about as close as you can get to an Expedition Scout.

TW2R60200 Gunmetal, dark olive, olive fabric strap, TW2R60500 Silver, beige dial, tan fabric strap.

What I like most about the TW2R60200 is the cream colored numbers, sub dials and lume, that give it a warm, vintage feel. The case is darker than silver, so I call it gunmetal, but it can look silver in the right light. The dial color of the silver TW2R60200 is a distinct beige, not cream. The numbers are black but the hands are dark grey. While several Allied models use orange, this one has burgundy for second sweep, color over 12, and strap thread detail. Timex used similar straps for the TOdd Snyder Steel MK1 line, too. I don’t believe there are any more colors in this set?

The following Allied Chronographs, I’m also calling classic, because they are not considered Archive as far as I know, and have matching 3-hand 40mm Allied watches with same colors, finishes, and straps.

TW2R47300 silver, cream dial, tan, TW2R47600 Silver, cream, bracelet, TW2R47200 silver charcoal, olive, TW2R47700 Gunmetal, charcoal dial, bracelet

With this set, which I believe was released in 2018-19, you can get the silver-tone bead blasted finish with the cream dial and black numbers/hands, or the silver finish with a charcoal dial that had light grey numbers/hands. There was both a canvas strap or bracelet option. The TW2R47700 bracelet version is gunmetal, darker than the other silver ones. They all have the standard “arrow” second sweep in orange and the lone orange square above the 12. Overall there is a vintage military feel of the group, especially with the canvas strap versions.

Rubber Straps

Moving on to yet another set of Allied chronographs we find some with rubber straps. The Allied chronographs are rated to 100m WR, so it makes sense as another option. It is the same 20mm, quick-release strap as used on the 43mm Allied Coastline series that have a distinctly diver-like feel. In my opinion, its a pretty interesting strap. So, to me these are just classic, basic Allied chronos stuck on a rubber strap with nothing else special about them. That said, each is still a unique case/dial/hand/glass combination that does not exactly appear in any other group.

TW2R67300, Silver, white dial, Orange strap, TW2R60400, Gunmetal, black dial, black strap, TW2R60300, gunmetal, blue dial, blue strap

Your choices are standard white, black or blue dial in a gunmetal blasted finish case. These are not particularly appealing to me? I do have one of the matching 40mm 3-hand Allied versions of these. With this group the feel is maybe more Sport watch than Field watch? How would they look with a fabric or leather strap?

Another thought comes to mind here. With Timex the strap is usually part of the overall design statement. The strap and the watch go together to create a look. Even though Timex does put different straps on the same watch and give it a new style number, most styles do have unique watch/strap combinations. Of course any watch can look different with another kind of strap, but a lot Timex watch designs are dependent on the strap and watch working together. It can be sad when a unique Timex strap wears out and you have to go aftermarket.

The Subdued Look

This next pair is again a departure from the military/outdoors inspiration of most Allied chronographs. They lean more towards the Todd Snyder group, maybe? Again, not really that interesting to me. These feel more like something for the office or slightly more dressy? That orange second sweep just won’t go away! Something just isn’t right about these two? They are slightly interesting, but don’t seem to fit the Allied vibe? They probably won’t end up in my Allied collection.

TW2R47500, Black, black dial, black leather, TW2R47400 Black, grey dial , grey leather.

I think I am getting to the end! One last pair I want to end with are a set of Archive Allied models that I believe were more meant for the European market because they have been hard to find from US sources. They might be some of my favorite Allied Chronos because of their crisp contrasting design elements. The have the classic Allied dial, but the silver/black /red and hand set sort of remind me of the MK1 Archive style.

TW2T17200 silver tone case, black dial, bracelet, TW2R76500, Silver tone, black dial, various fabric NATO or single pass

Here we get away from the orange second sweep! Its a bright red to match the red square at each hour marker. White numbers and sub dials. The syringe hand set is black at center, then white with green lume fill. Even though the Arabic numbers is like the classic Allied dials, the color scheme matches the other Archive Allied dials. The TW2T17200 bracelet model I own is dated Jan 2018, so that matches earlier release dates of the Archive versions. I had to go to France to find mine. Even though it was released in early 2018, I did not get mine until 2024.

TW2T1700 red hour squares

Its been six or seven years already since the Timex Archive campaign kicked off. I was late to the game, but am still enjoying, searching, and collecting Timex from the 2017-2020 years. I don’t think Timex has had such a big campaign since? The 38mm Q reissue was concurrent and huge in its own way. There has been considerable effort put into the Expedition North line and an emphasis on the environmental concerns. However, overall the Expedition North line is pretty boring fare. Even so, I did get a 38mm mechanical bracelet model that I enjoy. Timex continue to release Reissues of many kinds and new Waterbury ideas, but most Timex releases in the last 4 years have not captured my attention as much as the Archive Waterburys, Allieds, Mk1s and Navis did. There have been some new automatic 41mm Navis, that I am tracking. The best releases since 2020 are probably the Todd Snyder and Nigel Cabourn collaborations that keep the vintage military style going.

The Allied lines are bygone and even the Expedition Scouts are on the way out making way for Expedition North. Maybe the nostalgia for vintage/military is fading and people are looking forward to new materials and technologies like recycled cases and solar power? Hopefully an Allied 2 line will appear at some point?


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