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I figured I'd start doing a few reviews of some of the digitals in my collection (feel free to do the same with your own), so we can use them as future resources.

This review is about the Triathlon version of Timex's recent "Shock" resistant line, the T5F8419J.



As with Casio's G-shock, Timex's new Shock line of digitals is designed to meet ISO 1413:1984 minimum shock resistance standards for digital watches.

Below is a picture of mine in it's case.






Here are my impressions:

Movement:

Anyone familiar with Ironman watches will find a bevy of standard features. The watch comes equipped with the following functions: Time (including 3 Time Zone tracking), date, chronograph with 30-Lap recall, count down timer, 3 alarms, and programable indiglo backlight (only lights the digits not the whole screen, which is very cool). IN addition it has a few interesting functions not typically found, such as a programmable "Occasion Mode Reminder" (an electronic version of the string tied around your finger reminding you to do stuff); a Golf score keeper (cool if you're a golfer); and a programable "Flix" system which allows you to activate the backlight by simply flicking your wrist (as opposed to pressing the light button).

The feature list (except for the last three) is fairly standard fare with Ironman triathlon models, even if the lap memory on this one is not as high as some of the non shock models. A cool feature of the watch is that you can program which functions you want turned on and which ones you do not. The idea is that if there is a function you don't use, you can deactivate it, so that you don't have to cycle through it when using the watch. For example, I have the reminder and the golf features deactivated on mine because I just don't use them. a nice touch is that when you use a function, once you finish, if you hit mode, the watch will send you back to the main time screen (unlike other digitals which will make you cycle through the remaining functions before you get back to the main screen).

Case
:


As with G-shocks, the case is really a mixture of an inner metal case which holds the movement, embedded into an outer polyurethane case which aids with impact absorption. Surrounding the display is an aluminium bezel held in place by the outer polyurethane case and 4 allen bolts. Depending on the model can be either plain or anodized in a variety of colors (mine is blue).

A with many g shocks, the case is oddly thick, making the watch wear relatively high in comparison to it's width. Most functions are activated through a series of 5 buttons (4 on the sides and one below the screen). A nice touch is that the backlight button is set in a different color, making easy to see. The buttons are also polyurethane and are reasonably thick and easy to use. for G-shock lovers, you will find that while more comfortable to use, the buttons on the Timex lack surrounding guards and don't feel quite as mechanically precise as comparable G's (that is not saying that they are bad though). In addition the choice of case and strap plastics are not quite as supple as those use by casio. The caseback is a stainless steel 4 screw design which is common in these types of watches. It looks just like this one previously posted by WUS member, Buzzbait on His Review of his Timex Shock:




Crystal:

Flat Mineral - recessed fairly deeply

Strap:

Integrated polyurethane design. Thankfully it is not permanently attached to the case and can be replaced if needed. the strap is neither hard nor soft, but somewhere in between. It is full of adjustment holes which do double duty as heat vents (nice touch). Also the end of the adjustment strap has a built in recess in to which the strap keeper locks, so as to keep any excess strap ends from flapping around after you've put the watch on (the design is the revers of that used in the Nike Oregon).

Water resistance:

200 meters. Not an ISO rated diver, but I suppose it could be used for that purpose.

Display:

Digital Negative display, showing time, active functions, date, and active alarms. Unlike it's positive display variants, The negative display is not a high contrast variety - the stock pictures make it look far more high contrast than it is. In other words, while nice, it is not quite as easy to see at a glance as some newer high contrast negative displays (the digits get a little lost in the black). The flipside of this is that unlike most G's the digits are relatively large and the display is generally devoid of unnecessary styling, thus making it easy to read (and much easier to read in positive display models). As mentioned earlier, The indiglo backlight makes only the digits glow, as opposed to the entire dial, making them especially easy to read in the dark.





General Impressions:

I bought this watch because I wanted to see an alternative to a G-shock. To me it seems like Timex has definitely used Casio as the standard and designed the watch accordingly. The watch wears very much like a G-shock and shares more than a passing resemblance to one. Fit and finish is not quite up to casio's standards, but it is not bad (If anything the watch feels a bit more rugged), especially when you consider that these can be had for a fraction of the price of most G's. If you are looking for a weekend beater, this is definitely a very affordable way to go. From a function POV, you can't go wrong with the Timex. IMHO, the larger digits, uncluttered display, ease of use, and functions arranged primarily for sport, beat the casio's hands down. the negative display, on the other hand could use some improvement - a high contrast one would be preferable - and I would advice you to stick to the positive display models. Overall it is a very nice and functional watch for a fraction of the price of a comparable G. It doesn't break much ground in terms of original design and wears very much like a G. It's strengths are functionality, price, and the introduction of usable features such as the flix system. Overall a nice alternative to the Casio G line, even if not quite as nicely put together, and a solid piece made for real world use and abuse - though not a replacement for Timex's traditional, sport designed, Ironman Triathlon line.

Other models:

For a full list, see them a Timex's site here:

http://www.timex.com/gp/node/n/23852...Brand=coreSome

other models include:

T5F8219J:



T5K0229J:


T5J3819J




T5F8519J (Nylon Strap)



T5J4019J (Nylon Strap)

 

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Very interesting and comprehensive review, thanks for posting it. The Ironman series has always interested me. A few years back Timex re-issued an early Ironman Triathalon model complete with limited 8 memories. It looked very much like the one below and I wish I would have grabbed one on Amazon!

 

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Thanks for the review. I'm going to check these out. I like smart watches and that's a nifty feature to be able to deactivate features you don't use.
 

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Isthmus said:

[/quote]


Hi Isthmus, can you direct me to where I can find a replacement strap for the "REEF GEAR" unit on the right? I have exactly the same unit that has been sitting in my desk drawer because of a broken strap and Timex in Singapore can't help me get a replacement strap.


Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pckoh said:
Hi Isthmus, can you direct me to where I can find a replacement strap for the "REEF GEAR" unit on the right? I have exactly the same unit that has been sitting in my desk drawer because of a broken strap and Timex in Singapore can't help me get a replacement strap.


Thanks.
Contact Timex USA in connecticut. They should be able to help you. That said, I doubt they'll ship to singapore. you might have to have it shipped to someone in the US who can then forward it to you.
 

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As with Casio's G-shock, Timex's new Shock line of digitals is designed to meet ISO 1413:1984 minimum shock resistance standards for digital watches.
I'm 99% certain that the '84 standard requires only a ONE metre drop for a watch of any kind. And the watch doesn't have to work perfectly afterwards - something like accuracy of one minute a day is allowed. A G-Shock will take a 10m drop with no loss of accuracy. It's important to understand this difference if you're deciding whether to wear your ISO cert diver or 5600 to judo practise - a G will take a knock that would trash a Seiko Monster and do so over and over again.

I've been told that a major advantage of the Ironman series seems to be that they provide more electronic functions than Gs and sometimes allow the user to reconfigure them, so can eg drop a mode that you don't use from the list scroll though. The disadvantages seem to be that they're not as tough as Gs (on the watchuseek G-Shock forum they have a reputation for gradually falling apart) and lack the system of spare parts that the main G's have - if you own a 5600 or 6900 you can order and easily fit an entire new case yourself. Straps are easy to get hold of, and if the time keeping module in your watch dies but the case and strap are fine then you can buy a new module.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
scuttle said:
I've been told that a major advantage of the Ironman series seems to be that they provide more electronic functions than Gs and sometimes allow the user to reconfigure them, so can eg drop a mode that you don't use from the list scroll though. The disadvantages seem to be that they're not as tough as Gs (on the watchuseek G-Shock forum they have a reputation for gradually falling apart) and lack the system of spare parts that the main G's have - if you own a 5600 or 6900 you can order and easily fit an entire new case yourself. Straps are easy to get hold of, and if the time keeping module in your watch dies but the case and strap are fine then you can buy a new module.


That's generally, but not entirely accurate. Yes the Ironman line of watches has modules that generally include more functions. however, those functions are more specifically set up for sport. Some (not all) have functions that can be reconfigured. Another feature where Ironaman is different than G-Shock (an IMHO superior), is that displays are generally larger and stick to providing specific information (as opposed to being filled with design elements that serve no practical purpose). the general toughness of most ironman watches relative to g-shocks is correct. G-shock are just tougher. This doesn't mean that Ironman are not tough though. This is not true, however of the shock line of ironman watches, which is just as tough as your average G. As for parts, Ironman lacks the collector network that G-shock has, which might explain why the system of parts procurement is lacking. On the plus side, however, Timex is phenomenal at sourcing parts and regularly sells directly to customers. I've ordered some really old parts from them and they have always had them in stock and for cheap prices.
 

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Isthmus said:
Another feature where Ironaman is different than G-Shock (an IMHO superior), is that displays are generally larger and stick to providing specific information (as opposed to being filled with design elements that serve no practical purpose).
I absolutely refuse to buy G's with silly segmented things that whirl around and what have you. Hate 'em!

My preference otherwise is the G's displays - they seem to be higher contrast and the size is more than adequate.

Re. robustness - no, I wasn't talking about the drop spec: the Timex just have a rep - how justified I can't say - for gradually falling apart. At least when compared to Gs, which seem to be really enduring beasts.
 

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I have a T5F821 and am trying to find a replacement band. I have found many online that say OEM but the reviews say they are a cheaper material made by a third party. Anyone have any places to find a OEM watch band? I would even take a velco band in replacement if I could find one that would work on mine if need be. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Timex themselves sell them. contact their customer service directly and they will sell you one and ship it to you.
 
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