Want to learn more about the Timex Marlin Automatic 40mm? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for the important details.
The Timex Marlin is a very well-known watch, and in this review, I’ll share my hands-on experience with the 40mm version.
Who hasn’t heard of Timex? The ubiquitous American brand is a household name, and its watches can be found on the shelves of stores across the country.
Founded in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company, the company gained popularity throughout the 20th century for their durability and affordability.
Their catchphrase, “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” is perhaps one of the most recognizable slogans ever. In recent years, Timex has revitalized their brand to appeal to a new generation of consumers.
The Q Timex line launched in 2019 was an instant hit. The line showcases the brand’s storied history alongside reissues of some of their most iconic designs.
Timex has found an interesting niche in the watch market, one that appeals to veteran watch enthusiasts as well as the trendy youth.
The watch we’ll be looking at today is the 40mm Marlin, the evolution of Timex’s mid-century classic. There are currently two distinct offerings from the Marlin line: the 34mm 1960s reissue and its modern 40mm counterpart.
Both of these watches come in a variety of dial and case colors. You can even rep Snoopy or your favorite baseball team if you so desire. This review will put the green dialed 40mm Marlin to the test. Is it worth picking up, or is it just another fashion watch?
The case comes in an exclusively high-polished finish, and the edges look decent for the price point. In profile, the case is divided into three surfaces: a narrow midsection and two adjacent sloped edges.
The slope of the bezel corresponds with the angle of the domed crystal, extending the visual line harmoniously.
- Case size: 40.2mm
- Case size w/crown: 42.2mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Lug to lug: 48mm
- Thickness: 13.5mm
- Weight: 54g
- Water resistance: 50m
In effect, the whole case ends up looking like a dome. This UFO-like appearance is almost identical to the classic Marlin, only scaled up. It certainly captures the retro design language that makes the original appealing.
Also like the original, the slender lugs are downturned and taper slightly at their ends. In the absence of crown guards, the crown is slightly recessed into the case. A nice touch, though the crown itself feels slightly small.
Flipping the watch over reveals the display caseback and the movement below. It’s a rather utilitarian movement, but still neat to see if you’re new to mechanical watches. Timex ever so slightly engraved their logo to the rotor for a touch of personalization.
Inscribed along the edges of the caseback are the typical specs, including the water resistance rating and serial number.
Now, let’s address the size. If you’re a traditionalist, the 40mm case may be a turnoff. Especially considering this is a more reserved, dressy design. Dress watches tend to have a sweet spot at 38mm.
That said, I think the wearability comes down to the well-proportioned design. The case to dial ratio prevents this watch from looking like a “dinner plate” on the wrist.
Many minimalist designs with huge dials and thin cases unfortunately fall into that category.
The most significant dimension is the watch’s height, where its presence is definitely established. This one is a tall boy. I think that adds to its charm, but your mileage may vary.
It’s quite lightweight on the wrist and doesn’t feel doesn’t feel unbalanced. Keep in mind that the crystal is acrylic and will pick up scratches. A little Polywatch goes a long way, but if you’re the type who tends to bump their wrist into things, you’ll likely be polishing the crystal often.
The satinized dial features an underlying radially brushed sunburst which transitions from light metallic green to a very dark (nearly black) green. Adding to the light-play are the polished baton indices and crystal which sits atop the case like a bubble.
The whole ensemble is quite mesmerizing. This is one of those watches I stare at and forget I meant to check the time.
Timex has kept the dial printing minimal with their logo, a simple “Automatic” above the 6 o’clock, and the minute track. They’ve gone with a black day/date wheel with white text. This keeps the window innocuous and doesn’t throw off the balance of the dial.
The pencil style hands feel just a tad short. Since they’re so thin, their length makes them appear a little stubby. The minute and seconds hand in particular are the exact same length, and they would be much more elegant if they were long enough to meet with the minute track.
The strap is a deep forest green with a contrast stitching in a subtle shade of light green. The stitching is very clean, and the overall quality of the strap is good. The strap also features quick release spring bars for easy strap changes.
The polished buckle is engraved with a nice crisp Timex logo. The leather is a product of the S.B. Foot Tanning Company, who also supplies leather to Red Wing Shoes. Though it’s made from American leather, the strap is assembled in China.
It’s still quite nice, despite any preconceptions one may have about its origin.
Additionally, I tried out Timex’s milanese mesh bracelet for an alternative to the leather. In hand, the quality is not too shabby, especially for a $35 bracelet.
The mesh is finely woven and there aren’t any hair-tugging sharp edges. It also utilizes quick release spring bars and a sliding clasp that requires a tool to adjust. Casio bracelet owners will be quite familiar with this system.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling it. In my opinion, the mesh doesn’t look great with the green dial. The excess of polished surfaces detracts from the richness of the dial. Perhaps it would suit one of the other color variants better.
There’s something about the green leather strap that really unifies the whole look. How do I put it… The green brings out the green!
The only lume on this watch can be found on the hour and minute hands.
It’s nothing to write home about and fades within minutes, but it’s appreciated. If you’ve recently entered a dark room or movie theater, it’ll help you determine the time.
Looking around online led me to believe it’s a Miyota 8205. As Timex leans heavily into their American heritage marketing, I have a feeling they’re shy to admit they’ve sourced parts overseas.
While the 8205 is affordable, easy to service, and perfectly reliable, it’s not fun to interact with. It lacks a hacking seconds hand, and the wind is quite gritty. Setting the time isn’t much better. On most watches, the tactile action of the crown is fairly smooth.
On this watch, turning the crown feels somewhat chunky. As mentioned above, the crown is a little small and it doesn’t pop out far from the case. This makes it slightly difficult to grip. Here it is, extended to its third position.
Setting the day and date is also peculiar. In the second position, turning the crown clockwise advances the day, while counterclockwise changes the date. Rotating it in either direction continuously causes the movement to click multiple times per advancement of the wheel.
At first, I was afraid of breaking something internally while setting the date. Instead of continuous rotation, the day and date wheels seem to respond better to a rocking of the crown.
Rolling it back and forth advances each wheel quicker and with fewer audible clicks. It’s a little difficult to describe, but easy to understand once you feel it in hand.
Finally, the rotor is quite loud. It only winds in one direction, meaning that if you shake the watch and get it to spin the opposite direction, it’ll take off like a helicopter. In a quiet room, I can hear the rotor whirring at the flick of my wrist.
To be fair, this is par for the course with Miyota movements, love it or hate it.
Should You Buy It?
This is a fairly casual watch, but its elegantly minimal design begs to be dressed up. From the dazzling dial to the generously domed crystal, the aesthetics of this watch are executed beautifully. It’s a sweet choice for the modern gent looking for his first automatic watch.
I’d recommend this as a daily driver that transitions well between the office and more informal settings. Though, I’d treat this one more delicately than sports watches. It’s definitely not a piece to take swimming.
I can’t help but wish the watch were a millimeter or two smaller. Choosing either the 34mm or the 40mm feels like being caught between two extremes. If Timex introduced a 38mm, I’m sure many folks would be pleased.
If it wasn’t already clear, my biggest complaint would have to be the movement. I believe this to be the biggest drawback to the watch. For the retail price of $259, I think Timex could’ve sourced a higher grade Miyota, or maybe even a Seiko movement.
This would have made the user experience much more enjoyable, which is an important consideration for the ownership of a mechanical watch.
If you’re interested in picking one up, I recommend looking around for a discount. Timex often gives out promotional discounts on their site, including a 15% off coupon for registering an email address.
This green dial variant is my personal favorite of the bunch. It brings an eye-catching intrigue to an otherwise standard and familiar design. Though, there’s also an equally enticing burgundy dial version out there if you can source one.
The green won’t be as versatile as the other available colors, and you may have trouble finding other straps that pair well with the watch. On the other hand, you don’t exactly buy a green watch for versatility. Let it be your statement piece.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!