Vintage Timex Watches is a website created by collector Mark Rushworth AKA Timetrope on Instagram.
I have been collecting vintage TImex watches since September 2018 with my first purchase being a non working gold Timex Marlin which i intended to repair, but failed to do so on numerous occasions. Reaching out to a seller on ebay who advertised they would answer questions about vintage Timex, he offered to repair the watch and introduced me to the online Timex community. From that point onwards I was hooked.
Knut – its all your fault LOL!
I didn’t start out by collecting vintage Timex watches. Like many others my journey began by researching affordable watch brands. I initially started with the Seiko 5 tuxedo dial as advertised by Hodinkee. I sourced this then already out of production watch for £120 plus shipping and taxes, from a seller in Japan via the now defunct Rakuten online store. This took ages to be delivered so inbetween i also purchased an aliexpress automatic watch with small seconds. This was an awesome watch by the way. After this point i decided there was too much choice and i wanted to stick to collecting just one brand.
Why Collect Timex?
Like many others i devoured online content about watches but quickly came to the conclusion that i wouldn’t be able to afford a new Rolex every payday. So i needed something affordable, that i could buy frequently as a starting point. This lead me to value brands like Caravelle, Services, Ingersoll, Newmark etc. and of course TImex. Many of these were known to simply compile watches from pre-existing parts which didnt have any appeal to me. Out of the vast list of potential brands i narrowed the field to Caravelle, Ingersoll and Timex. Only Ingersoll and Timex had connections with the UK so the list dropped to just 2. Researching the histories of these 2 brands i could see that they were intertwined. However only Timex appeared to have consistent production through the decades so this logically became the choice for me. That and of course all the hype around the 2018 Timex Marlin reissue.
So my collecting schismed. On one hand i had Christmas gifts from my wife etc of various Seiko, Hamilton, Baltic, Bulova and later Oris, Omega and Tudor watches. On the other i had a growing collection of vintage Timex Watches.
I joined the (too numerous) Timex Facebook groups, started an Instagram to document my collection and started buying at scale.
Repairing vintage Timex watches
Im no expert in vintage Timex watch repair, and i am still learning the basics. This is mostly due to not having sufficient time in the day to invest in practicing. Buying is easy. I can do this on the go. So i figured out that i’d stockpile future projects for my retirement.
Having mastered case back removal quickly, it took me a full 6 months of intermittent trial and error to be able to remove a crown from an m24/5/7 watch. Looking at various youtube videos and talking to other collectors, there are just too many different combinations of techniques and tools for anyone to be able to pull together a definitive guide on Timex watch servicing. I have however documented my processes and translated what is widely regarded as the best guide to servicing M24/5/7 movements.
Sadly i do not know of a similar guide to M21/2/9 movements which is why many of my earliest pieces remain unrepaired.
Giving back to the community
It quickly became apparent to me that a lot of timex information remained undigitised or at best locked away in jpegs and PDFs. One of my goals is to make all of this searchable which is why you can find online spreadsheets of crowns and crystals on this website.
Im still working through this but improvements in OCR mean the work is getting easier.
Why build a website?
At some point a few years ago i decided to photo graph all of my vintage Timex watches and compare them to pieces found in catalog’s, ads and brochures. This revealled many gaps in my collection. Maintaining this archive of files and folders on a hard disk has become complex and lacks the taxonomies needed to be truely helpful. So i began re-working all of this information with a view to creating this website.
It helps that i have a background in graphic and web design, and currently work in digital marketing.
So Version 1 of vintagetimexwatches.com was born in July 2023.
The best way to contact me is through Instagram messaging via @timetrope
Some imagery and information was gathered from websites operated by other notable Timex collectors. In particular:
https://heritage1854.com/ – Ark volunteered to scan in all of the timex catalogs so we all sent in what we had. Catalog images, some ads and other imagery has been used from this website as a result.
https://www.arteepee.nl/ – Rossier has images of some rare Timex so i have use those here.
http://timex.homestead.com/ – Information on the military watch was sourced from Alans website.