For Men

The Unofficial Guide to Vintage Timex Watches

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Written by:

Jacky Chou

There is a lot to love about vintage timex watches. Not only are they stylish and unique, but their history spans decades- making them an investment in both style and nostalgia. Want to know more? Read on for the perfect guide!

The "Unofficial Guide to Vintage Timex Watches" is a blog that helps users identify vintage timex watches. Read more in detail here: help identifying vintage timex watch identification.

What Every Vintage Timex Enthusiast Needs to Know: Models, Movements, Features, Identification Guide, & More

working along with Cameron Martel. Accessed on March 26, 2018 (version one). More is coming!

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my first post for WYCA. I'm going to talk about the satisfaction and annoyance of old watches, particularly vintage Timex.

Neither am I an expert in watches nor am I a watchmaker. I'm just an ordinary person who loves all things related to timekeeping. I chose to enter the vintage watch industry because I can acquire name-brand mechanical watches for a fraction of the price of their new equivalents. The intriguing aspect about old timepieces (of any brand) is that they naturally have poor timekeeping abilities. Sincere to say, a well maintained antique Omega maintains time far better than my old Casio G-Shock.

If it's not the moment, then something else must be the case. I like wearing and collecting mechanical timepieces, which are fascinating vintage items.

Let's talk about antique Timex watches today.

Great Old Watches That Lick And The Rest You All Know!

Like practically everyone my age (60), I initially possessed a Timex when I was a young man and lad. About twelve years old is when I got my first Timex. It had a simple numeric dial and was a hand-winding type. All I can remember is that, and it's incredible that it made such an effect that I can recall it 48 years later.

I'm now purchasing the greatest items from that time period and keeping onto them while selling the ones I can sell for a profit. The majority of the mechanical Timex watches produced in the 1960s were either automatic (Self-Winding) or manual winding types. I look for things like this every day. It's fairly incredible that these $6 to $15 timepieces are still in good working order today, many of them for their whole lifespan.

What’s that, Timex produces automatics?

Yes, they do, and a lot of those movements are still offered on the vintage market today. #31 and #32 are the two movement numbers that I like and search for. In the market for antique Timex, these movements are powerhouses. There are additional automatic motions, but given my experience, I choose these two.

Beware: these movements lack gems, are mass-produced, and are not very attractive. however they may still be used.

When you ask a watchmaker whether they service Timex, many of them will turn you down, but you may discover skilled artisans that will provide a Timex cleaning and oiling.

The movement #31 from one of my Viscount models is seen in the images below. Additionally, the watch's case back is inscribed with the words "Great Britain," indicating that it is the best automatic Timex movement and watch ever made by the firm in the 1960s.

Timex automatic movements of note

Again, because I have firsthand knowledge with them, I'll concentrate on Timex models from the 1960s. The automatic movements used in men's watches included the 29, 31, and 32, which were all utilized in Viscount models. The 72, the only "jeweled" movement used by the whole company, served as the centerpiece of the "21 Jewel" line. It is without a doubt the movement with the best aesthetics.

Please keep in mind that these thoughts on Timex movements are not those of a watchmaker. Many more individuals are knowledgeable about this subject than the thousands of people who are working on and collecting antique Timex. This is just my viewpoint as a collector and infrequent watch flier.

Mechanical Automatic Movement 31

  • The 31 began in 1961 and, as far as I know, continued through the 1970s.
  • The new power reserve has a 24-hour capacity.
  • One of my serviced 31 reserves was also available for 24 hours.
  • On a full breeze, the reserve of a poorly maintained 31 might range from zero to twelve to eighteen hours.
  • The most of these movements were created in Britain, however I did have one from Portugal that I should have retained.

Due to the absence of complexities (no day date) and the fact that these essentially throwaway watches are still functioning well after more than 50 years, I consider this to be the best automatic movement in the brand at the time.

Mechanical Automatic Movement 32

  • The 32 debuted in 1965 and is now available in the Viscount range.
  • It is based on movement 24, however the 25 adds date complexity.
  • The movement is thinner and automatically winds itself.
  • When new, the power reserve was 24 hours, while older, unserviced units had a lesser reserve.
  • The 32 was also created in the United Kingdom.

With the exception of the date complication wheel drying up and breaking, the 32 is another reliable self-winding movement. I tend to steer clear of unserviced Timex watches with a date or day. The issue is that when you try to establish them, if you set (wind, wind, wind) for very long, the wheels and dry movement start to slide, which eventually causes that complexity to fail. In order to get the date correct, I really note the day on my own calendar and wind up the watch from sitting. I realize it's a huge nuisance, but it's the price we pay for using old, unserviced watches.

Automatic Movements 107, 108, and 109

  • late 1960s to late 1970s
  • 38-hour battery life (when new)
  • 18,000 bph
  • Added date display in M108
  • Added day/date display in M109

Due to poor service, the day and day/date models should be used with caution.

Hand-winding Motions

The Marlin range from Timex is built on hand-wound mechanical movements. It has a sturdy two-plate construction and a "V-Conic" bearing system (Timex Manual, 1969). To perform the suggested servicing, just three pieces must be taken out of the casing. These are also powerful movements that have done an admirable job of withstanding time.

Movements 22 and 24: Mechanical Handwind

  • The 22 began in 1961.
  • 24 was released in 1964.
  • swapped out the 21 movement
  • robust two-plated construction
  • 42-hour backup (when new)

Jeweled automatic and hand-wound mechanical movements 72 and 74

  • Simple to differentiate from all other Timex motions
  • twenty-one diamonds
  • Top gems may be taken off.
  • The movement is pronounced with delicate embellishments.
  • The most gorgeous Timex movement, in my view

The Best Vintage Timex Automobiles to Buy

There are many options available, but whenever I purchase, I seek for a model from one of the series mentioned below. These are just mechanical; if you're interested in electric devices, there are many of old quartz models available.

Marlin Series by Timex

Due to its strength, good looks, and recent rerelease in 2017, the Timex Marlin is the "king of the hill" in the Timex collection. It is quite desired and the two plate motions are solidly coiled by hand. Additionally waterproof, this watch.

They were produced in the 1960s and 1970s and provide excellent value for those wishing to get into the antique watch market at prices between $60 and $300 USD.

Where can I locate them the easiest? eBay.

Timex Series 17 and 21

The Timex Series 17 and 21 is also another favorite with collectors, simply because it’s more of what a watch connoisseur would look for with a pretty movement and more advanced design. It has both a self-winding and automatic movements with a waterproof case (don’t trust this in any of the vintage watches)  It’s dial selections are simple and elegant with various number combinations and even a dot-dash 12 only dial. This watch was produced from 1961 to 1965.

Mercury Timex Series

In all honesty, I don't know much about the Mercury, but one is now traveling to my house. Before I discovered a bit more about the company, it was the first vintage Timex I had bought (for an absurdly high $82). I had to resell it for $62, however. Despite being in fourth position among the top four models in terms of popularity, they are nonetheless stunning. They have relatively basic two- and three-hand dials, with the dial's numerical arrangement serving as the sole change.

Viscount Timex Series

Again, the automated movement and the understated nice aesthetics make this my particular favorite. This watch has some beautiful dial patterns, and dishonest vendors often refer to it as a Marlin. It was made in the 1960s and 1970s as well, and it costs roughly $50 USD. It is a superb automatic self-winding, waterproof watch for both devoted collectors and those just starting out in the vintage watch market.

Mercury Timex Series

In all honesty, I don't know much about the Mercury, but one is now traveling to my house. Before I discovered a bit more about the company, it was the first vintage Timex I had bought (for an absurdly high $82). I had to resell it for $62, however. Despite being in fourth position among the top four models in terms of popularity, they are nonetheless stunning. They have relatively basic two- and three-hand dials, with the dial's numerical arrangement serving as the sole change.

Various Series

There were more lines available in the 1960s, but I don't really know much about them. If you want to learn more about them, I've listed them here.

  • Electric Timex
  • Sportster Timex
  • Sprite Timex
  • Super Thin Timex
  • Diver Timex
  • Timex Persona
    • In Wonderland, Alice
    • Cinderella
    • Jumping Cassidy
    • Disney Mickey
    • Winter White
    • Zorro

Favored Models Beware!

The models I'm looking for and the most valuable ones are mentioned as Marlin manufactured in 1961 through 1967 in the 1960's Timex Service Manual (see below) (reissued November of 2017).

They have manual wind motions #22, 24, or 25 and their 1960s model numbers are either 2010, 2014, 2017, 2024, 2117, or 2124. The Marlin models' prices have skyrocketed because to the reissue, with some reaching $300 USD. If you're still interested, you can still get them for $25 to $100.

Here is the BIGGEST issue with purchasing a "Marlin" on almost any internet store: most of the time, they are Viscounts, Mercury, 21 Jewel, or Monroe models, not Marlins. I find it annoying that these watches are being misrepresented and priced more than they should be. I experienced this during the first week I started making significant purchases of vintage. I implore you not to repeat the difficult lesson that was learnt.

Be mindful of the model numbers. I also notice the word play "Marlin Style" or "Marlin? Tell me if I'm mistaken (I do).

One of the worst was a protracted description of "How the Viscount was the automated Marlin," and this Viscount model cost $150. It's not; it's a whole different model that, because of the self-winding automatic movement, I really like. So when considering a Timex Marlin, buyer beware.

Unique Dials & Features

Electric Timex

You may find them for sale in the $6 to $250 price range in another vintage line. Since I like mechanical timepieces with an automatic or manual wind, I don't collect or desire to collect them. If electric is your thing, there are some lovely examples, however.

Dial crosshairs

Crosshair dialed versions are one of the options you may discover in Timex antique watches; two-handed watches are a little rare and often, new owners believe the second hand is missing! A second hand is what I like since I adore the sweeping action.

Date and Day Issues

In my honest opinion, these ancient Timexes are a nightmare. These complexities will utterly fail if the watch is not maintained. A dry movement will freeze up if the day date feature is attempted to be configured. This needs considerable winding. My first illustration is a stunning "Tiger Eye" Timex. I was planning to set the day and date for the next owner after I sold this watch. I mishandled the timepiece and missed out on a $80 sale. Unless they are being serviced, take it from me: avoid these items.


I don't know much about this option on the "Retro Timex" from the 1980s and 1990s, but they look great!


It usually has lost all value and is no longer functional. For fans of classic Timex, this is not a major concern since we don't anticipate it working. Purists despise watches that have been "re-lumed," which you sometimes discover.

electronic watches

Not the watch for me and also in the "Retro" era. As a young adult in the 1970s, I'm not sure why they don't appeal to me. Some people adore them, and that's OK!


If you can locate a Timex Skindiver watch from the 1960s, they are rather uncommon and often quite expensive. They were created in 1966 and 1967 and include the manual winding Movement 24. These are what I refer to as unicorns since, at least on eBay, you seldom ever see them for sale.

themed timepieces

Often available and some are rare, but I do not buy the themed timepieces because it has a narrow appeal on resale. I think they were a gimmick and I still see them as that today. I may get some hate email on this…

Limited Editions

I just learned about these works, and one of them caught my attention in particular. Although it's from the 1970s, this rendition is awesome. The Pakter and Krauss-created 16068 02477 Timex Kaleidoscope includes a multicolored dial with a second hand that moves around the dial, causing movement and color variations.

There are versions in vivid colors, but mine has a more understated gold and silver contrast. This photograph lacks acrylic since I'm expecting a new crystal.

Understanding the Numbers on Your Watch

I'm sorry, but I don't have a Marlin to display. Instead, I'll use an alternative model, the Timex Viscount, to demonstrate how to read the model, movement, and year of production.

This example shows that the model number (catalog number) is 2014, the movement is 24, and the year is 1965. This image, which can be found on page 1.1 of the Timex Service Manual, illustrates what I just said. The Timex Service Manual PDFs that are publicly accessible do not include the Watch Identification part, however the complete set that I bought on eBay does.

There won't be a model number or year on the dial of a Timex watch made before 1963, thus to identify the model for replacement components, watchmakers of the time had to match photographs in Chapter 4 of the Timex Service Manual (which I don't have).

This 1979-produced Viscount employs the M107 automatic.

Service Guides

Dozens of Service Guides for vintage Timex auto’s are available in this Google Drive.

Tips for Buying Vintage Timex Automobiles

Regardless of the website you like, or whether you're hunting in the wild at a thrift store, yard sale, estate sale, or private seller, purchasing a vintage Timex is an experience. I'm looking for a 1960s Timex since I love them so much. Let's start with eBay since I find 90% of the timepieces I either keep or sell there.

Using eBay as a hunting ground

The laws of supply and demand are in effect during eBay auctions, and they are very predictable. I search for certain models, and I favor dials that are distinctive since they have a better potential for resale but are often more expensive.

For instance, I've stored many keyword searches and use eBay to do the search work. My top three models are Marlin, Viscount, and Mercury, and the keywords I use for them are "vintage, Timex, 1960s." Timex cross hair dials are one of my searches because I find them to be attractive, and many purchasers agree, given the price attached to these distinctive dials.

Other than brand, the location of the product in the USA is my initial search criterion. I don't want to offend my friends from Canada or other countries; I simply don't like dealing with complicated international shipping situations or dangerous locales.

I then search for the selling strategy. I like "Accepts Offers" in particular since I can reasonably manage the watch's pricing and, if they're overcharging for delivery, I can bargain it down as well. Even if the watch I want is up for auction and the seller has raised the minimum bid price, if the auction ends without a bid, I write the seller a note with an offer. You wouldn't believe how often this has succeeded. I don't go too low, but I consider the watch's resale worth and what I'll need to do to make it useful for the subsequent owner. Does it run? That's what matters to me! I'm not a watchmaker or even a want tobe worker in the services. I just don't have such abilities.

Do not place a bid until the last five seconds of an auction. The secret is to choose "watch" and keep an eye on the item as the auction approaches in order to monitor the bids. No bids is my preferred option. You run the danger of outbidding anything you want to possess by placing a bid before the very last second. All seasoned eBay buyers use this swooping in during an auction technique, so you must now have your max bid plan in place.

With max bidding, the computer will place your bids at any point throughout the auction. I establish a budget for each watch, and if it increases before the very last second, I don't bid. However, I do monitor the final price since knowledge improves performance.

For instance, three Timex Marlins (genuine Marlins) sold yesterday night, and the bidding has only reached as low as $20 to $40. Two of the watches were mine for a steal when I swooped in, but one escaped since the price increased to $70 just before the final few seconds. Too expensive to earn money.

The last eBay advice I have is to avoid buying items with poor photos or timepieces without straps. Some vendors just don't care about the watch's appearance and focus only on placing ads. I adore them individuals! A 1965 Timex Marlin with a rust-colored dial and a shoddy fabricated stainless steel band was what I discovered. When I looked at it more closely and questioned the vendor, I discovered that it was a genuine Marlin with a severely scratched crystal (see below), but it wasn't damaged. For $24.99, it was listed as "Accept Offers" and "Buy it Now." They accepted my $18 offer, and the delivery cost was fair. The proposal was taken up. The watch was delivered, I spent a few hours polishing the acrylic crystal and cleaning the casing, and then a really exceptional and lovely watch emerged.

At the conclusion of the narrative, I sold it to a man in a vintage Timex community on Facebook for $100 after putting it on a cleaned and polished twist band. 

Therefore, after deducting $3 for delivery, my total profit on this one watch was $82, or $79 to the good. Keep in mind the roughly $1 eBay and PayPal fees as well as the additional $10 for shop supplies (band, cleaning cloth, Polywatch, and new pins). $68 in net profit. I want to do this deal another 100,000,000 times!

I mentioned looking "In the Wild," and if you can locate the correct timepieces, this may be quite helpful. Do your research, ask questions, make lowball offers, and don't walk away from a transaction until it's out of your price range.

When you go to yard sales, have a few tools on hand, such as a tiny knife and a case back opening tool for both flat-back and case-wrench-required cases. Always inquire whether you may open the case back from the owner or the estate sale employees. Please take care while opening so as not to scratch or harm the watch.

Three tools that I bought from and use practically daily are shown below.

Avoid the hard lessons mentioned in this post if you want to have fun and make money hunting and buying and reselling watches.

Finishing up

These mechanical timepieces, both automated and manually wound, are extremely lovely in my opinion. On a lizard grain strap, many of them look wonderful since they have sunburst dials. The vintage "Twist 'o Flex" by Speidel that is seen embellishing these beautiful items is often cleaned and sold by me. I find the twist-bands from the 1960s to be unattractive and they fall off the watch as soon as I get them. The old stretch bands are popular, so I clean them up and give them as a gift to most purchases.

I'll spend a bit more time in the next piece discussing the other excellent Timex models from the 1960s. Maybe you will give the venerable brand that "takes a licking, and continues on ticking" another look when even a watch snob like me can appreciate the beauty and elegance (yeah, I said it) of a vintage Timex.

Gratitude for reading.

The "old timex watches value" is a guide that provides information and reviews on vintage Timex watches. This book will help you find the best deals on old timex watches.

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Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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